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Teflon Tsar? Why Western Smears Are Failing to Stick to Putin

Vox Populi
by Mike Whitney - CounterPunch
Anyone who follows the news regularly, knows that the media has done everything in its power to smear Vladimir Putin and to demonize him as a tyrant and a thug.

Fortunately, most people aren’t buying it.  Yes, I’ve seen the polls that say that Putin and Russia are viewed “less favorably” than they were prior to the crisis in Ukraine.
 
In fact, here’s a clip from a recent PEW survey which seems to prove that I’m wrong:

“Across the 44 countries surveyed, a median percentage of 43% have unfavorable opinions of Russia, compared with 34% who are positive.  Negative ratings of Russia have increased significantly since 2013 in 20 of the 36 countries surveyed…

Americans and Europeans in particular have soured on Russia over the past 12 months. More than six-in-ten in Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, the U.S. and the UK have an unfavorable image of Russia. And in all but one of these countries negative reviews are up by double digits since last year, including by 29 percentage points in the U.S., 27 points in Poland, 24 points in the UK and 23 points in Spain.” (Russia’s Global Image Negative amid Crisis in Ukraine: Americans’ and Europeans’ Views Sour Dramatically, PEW Research)

These results strongly suggest that the public blames Moscow for the fighting in Ukraine and (presumably) agrees with the prevailing storyline that Putin is a vicious aggressor who seized Crimea in order to rebuild the Soviet Empire. The problem with the PEW survey is that the results are based on random samples of nationwide face-to-face or telephone interviews.
 
Why is that a problem?
 

The Shivering Nation: Canada's Fear Epidemic

Manufacturing Fear: A Canadian Epidemic
by Ray Grigg - Shades of Green
Canada is becoming a nation of fear. Threat is lurking everywhere. But the source is not terrorism. The fear now haunting Canada is a creeping and insidious sense of unease that has been rising almost unnoticed for a decade. It is now infecting the mood of the whole country.
 
Much of this fear is invented and unjustified, manufactured for political purposes. The Russians are going to claim the natural resources of our country's Arctic so we need a strong and resolute national government to protect our interests. Crime is making Canada a dangerous place to live — even though statistics show the crime rate has been falling for decades, attributed almost exclusively to fewer youth as our demographics shift to an aging population. Addiction, of course, is profiled as destroying society so the perennially ineffective “war on drugs” must be intensified, punishment increased, incarceration mandatory, and socially beneficial injection facilities such as Vancouver's In-Site subjected to exhaustive government legal challenges. An economically vulnerable Canada must rush to finalize those few multinational trade agreements that are still available. And any celebration or declaration of war, together with any publicity about a lurking enemy, always raises the level of useful fear.
 
The fear eroding Canadian comfort is difficult to articulate because it is the gradual accumulation of multiple events. In Parliament, it has been the cavalier use of prorogation, the omnibus bills that prevent the adequate examination of hidden legislation, the unprecedented closure on important debates, the so-called “Fair Elections Act” that makes a mockery of both “fair” and “elections”, the evisceration of the Fisheries Act, and the wholesale gutting of the country's other environmental safeguards.
 

The Murderers On Top: Killing Democracy for Good

Yonder Comes Sin: More Terror From the Top
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque
Patrick Smith, man on fire, takes on a theme we were were discussing here the other day -- the true nature and origin of terrorism in our benighted Age of Terror. In his piece for Salon.com, Smith focuses on the outrageous and brazen lies of the American political and media establishment concerning the "Arab Spring" and its disastrous aftermath.

As Smith points out, in every case where Washington took a hand in events, the outcome has been catastrophe, chaos, repression and -- terror. The whole piece is worth reading in full, especially the detail on the American-led imposition of a horrific tyranny in Egypt, where the people had foolishly elected the wrong person in an open democratic vote and needed to have the proper leader installed for them.

"My brother's blood is crying from the grave
but you can't hear the voice
I stand in jeopardy every hour,
Wonderin' what reason you have to rejoice.
Look at your feet see where they've been to
Look at your hands, see what they've been into…
Yonder comes sin..."

 

Resisting the New Naziism at the UN

US, Canada, and Ukraine Vote Against Russia's Anti-Nazi Motion at UN
by RT
Azov Battalion 2014UN General Assembly’s Third Committee passed a Russia-proposed resolution condemning attempts to glorify Nazism ideology and denial of German Nazi war crimes. The US, Canada and Ukraine were the only countries to vote against it.
 
Azov battalion soldiers take an oath of allegiance to Ukraine in Kiev's Sophia Square before being sent to the Donbass region. (RIA Novosti /Alexandr Maksimenko) 

The resolution was passed on Friday by the committee, which is tasked with tackling social and humanitarian issues and human rights abuses, by 115 votes against three, with 55 nations abstaining, Tass news agency reported.
 
The document voiced concern over the rise of racism-driven crimes around the world and the influence that parties with extremist agendas are gaining.
 

Suzuki and family on Burnaby Mountain

David Suzuki and family on Burnaby Mountain today 2:30pm
by ForestEthics Advocacy
 
More arrests as protests against Kinder Morgan continue

VANCOUVER - Despite four straight days of arrests, and now an indefinite closure of Centennial Way by the RCMP, people continue to gather in support of the caretakers of Burnaby Mountain opposing Kinder Morgan's push for a new tar sands pipeline.
 
Today at 2:30pm, beginning at the foot of Centennial Way at the Burnaby Mountain Parkway, David Suzuki and members of his family will be speaking together in support of the protest. On Thursday Suzuki's grandson, Tamo Campos, was arrested for challenging police lines facilitating the drilling work by Kinder Morgan.
 
Also today, a bus of supporters from Victoria, BC is arriving with supplies and people to support the protests against Kinder Morgan.
 

US Bill Promises to Stoke Ukraine Conflict, Even As EU Moves to Deescalate

Europe Veering From US Abyss Over Russia?
Finian Cunningham - SCF
mccain-ukraine-rightistsIt’s long overdue but better late than never that Europe might just be back-pedalling on America’s aggressive agenda towards Russia. The business-like visit to Moscow this week by Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier suggests that Europe can come to its senses to seek a diplomatic resolution of the escalating tensions over the Ukraine crisis – tensions that could spark a wider continental war, or worse.
 
Last week, swivelled-eyed Senator John McCain said: “We want to give the Ukrainians [sic] weapons to defend themselves as the Russians are dismembering their country.”
 
Steinmeier met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in which the pair stressed the need to find a political end to the violence in Ukraine. The German diplomat – the first high-level European envoy to Moscow in several months – also talked about normalising relations between his country and Russia and of finding a way to rescind the economic sanctions that Brussels has imposed on Moscow over recent months.
 
EU ministers in Brussels balked at imposing a fourth round of sanctions earlier this week, showing a growing division over the policy among European governments.
Add a comment Add a comment Read more: US Bill Promises to Stoke Ukraine Conflict, Even As EU Moves to Deescalate

Musk's Midas Touch Assures Sunshine for SolarCity

This Solar Company Keeps Reporting Losses But You May Want To Buy It Anyway
Inside Opportunities with Martin Tillier - OilPrice.com
We all know that logically we should assess the value and prospects of any stock based on the profitability and prospects of the company. That is investing 101, but sometimes other factors take over. In the case of SolarCity Corp (SCTY), buyers seem to be motivated by anything but profitability.

The company has never made a profit since the IPO nearly two years ago, but even so, despite losing a lot of ground since the high back in February, SCTY is trading at over five times what it was then. The gut reaction of any value investor when looking at the basic numbers would be to avoid, or even short, SCTY, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
 
The discrepancy comes from the fact that GAAP reporting doesn’t do justice to the company, as much of its business comes from leasing agreements. Revenues from those agreements will be counted over a number of years, around twenty in most contracts, while some of the expenses are accounted for immediately.
 
 Founding Brothers, Lyndon and Peter Rive

Neocons On the Job for Next US War(s)

Delusional US ‘Group Think’ on Syria, Ukraine
by Robert Parry  - Consortium News
Neocon ideology appears to have seized near total control over the editorial pages of America’s premier news organizations, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, contributing to an information crisis inside “the world’s superpower,” a development that should unnerve both Americans and the world community.

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the
situation in Ukraine, on South Lawn of White House, 
July 29, 2014. (White House Photo - Lawrence Jackson) 

 A Washington Post editorial, for instance, took President Barack Obama to task on Wednesday for one of the few moments when he was making sense, when he answered “no” to whether he was “actively discussing ways to remove” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Obama added, “we are looking for a political solution eventually within Syria. … But we’re not even close to being at that stage yet.”

The question itself — from Kristen Welker of NBC News — would have been remarkable enough if you weren’t steeped in the arrogance of Official Washington where it’s common to engage in casual speculation about overthrowing another country’s government.
 

David Suzuki's Grandson Arrested at Burnaby Mountain; Caretakers Vow to Reinforce Blockade

Despite RCMP arrests, opponents of Kinder Morgan remain steadfast in opposition to Kinder Morgan
by ForestEthics Advocacy
On Thursday 24 people were arrested on Burnaby Mountain by the RCMP, and Kinder Morgan moved in heavy equipment late at night to begin work after weeks of presence by caretakers opposed to their tar sands pipeline plans.

Burnaby residents, caretakers at Burnaby Mountain, and concerned groups say they remain undeterred in the face of these heavy-handed intimidation tactics.

Over 70% of Burnaby residents are opposed to Kinder Morgan’s $5.4 billion expansion proposal that would transport even more diluted bitumen and bring even more tankers to the Burrard Inlet. Indigenous rights, climate change, and protection of the lands and waters against corporate greed remain key issues in the movement against tar sands expansion.

At least three of those arrested were held overnight and have their bail hearing this morning at BC Supreme Court. Arrests included Sut-lut, a Sḵwx̱ú7mesh elder who started the sacred fire onsite; Kaleb Morrison and Erin Flegg who have been at the site for months; Adam Gold, a named defendant in Kinder Morgan's injunction and civil law suit, and a tree sitter who has been camped out on top of the Borehole 2 drill site.

Add a comment Add a comment Read more: David Suzuki's Grandson Arrested at Burnaby Mountain; Caretakers Vow to Reinforce Blockade

NATO All In for All-Out War in Ukraine

All-Out War in Ukraine: NATO’s ‘Final Offensive’
by James Petras
There are clear signs that a major war is about to break out in Ukraine: A war actively promoted by the NATO regimes and supported by their allies and clients in Asia (Japan) and the Middle East (Saudi Arabia).

The war over Ukraine will essentially run along the lines of a full-scale military offensive against the southeast Donbas region, targeting the breakaway ethnic Ukraine-Russian Peoples Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk, with the intention of deposing the democratically elected government, disarming the popular militias, killing the guerrilla resistance partisans and their mass base, dismantling the popular representative organizations and engaging in ethnic cleansing of millions of bilingual Ukraino-Russian citizens.

NATO’s forthcoming military seizure of the Donbas region is a continuation and extension of its original violent putsch in Kiev, which overthrew an elected Ukrainian government in February 2014.
 
The Kiev junta and its newly ‘elected’ client rulers, and its NATO sponsors are intent on a major purge to consolidate the puppet Poroshenko’s dictatorial rule. The recent NATO-sponsored elections excluded several major political parties that had traditionally supported the country’s large ethnic minority populations, and was boycotted in the Donbas region.

Police Crimes to Watch for in Ferguson

Ten Illegal Police Actions to Watch for in Ferguson
by Bill Quigley - What Really Happened
When the Michael Brown verdict is announced, people can expect the police to take at least ten different illegal actions to prevent people from exercising their constitutional rights.

The Ferguson police have been on TV more than others so people can see how awful they have been acting. But their illegal police tactics are unfortunately quite commonly used by other law enforcement in big protests across the US.
 
The First Amendment to the US Constitution promises the government will not abridge freedom of speech or to prevent the right of the people to peaceably assemble or to petition to the government for the redress of grievances.
 
Here is what they are going to do, watch for each of these illegal actions when the crowds start to grow.