Russia is closer to crisis than the West or Vladimir Putin realise

In fact, a crisis could happen a lot sooner. Russia’s defences are weaker than they first appear and they could be tested by any one of a succession of possibilities—another dip in the oil price, a bungled debt rescheduling by Russian firms, further Western sanctions. When economies are on an unsustainable course, international finance often acts as a fast-forward button, pushing countries over the edge more quickly than politicians or investors expect.

Russia’s biggest recent economic crisis, in 1998, led to a government default. This time a string of bank failures, corporate defaults and a deep recession look likelier. Even so the pain from these could spread abroad quickly, both to countries that rely on Russian trade (exports to Russia account for fully 5% of GDP in the Baltics and Belarus) and through financial ripple effects. Banks in both Austria and Sweden are exposed. And if firms in one badly run commodity-driven country start to default on their dollar debts, then investors will worry about others—such as Brazil.

Russia: A wounded economy | The Economist

Kasparov likens Putin to Hitler, urges West to act – The Washington Post

Russian chess master and political activist Garry Kasparov compared President Vladimir Putin’s “one-man dictatorship” to the rule of Adolf Hitler on Thursday, warning that if the West fails to stop him now the price to do so could rise.

Kasparov also argued that Western leaders should not try to appease Putin in a search for strategic ground with him on issues such as Iran’s nuclear program and the fighting in Syria and Iraq, because Putin has no real interest in compromise and instead needs instability to try to justify staying in power.

“Pretending that Putin has a certain strategic interest that can be shared, it’s wrong. I don’t see any real strategic issue where his interest could be common with Europe,” Kasparov said at the Warsaw Security Forum.

Kasparov likens Putin to Hitler, urges West to act – The Washington Post

Given that Putin’s regime is equivalent to the mafia, allowing him to acquire a sphere of influence is very dangerous. He will work even harder to undermine the West as he is already doing. However, trying to stop him could put the US at risk of nuclear attack.

I don’t see a good outcome here. If we do nothing then Russia, China and Iran will undermine the West and eventually get into a war with the US. If we try to stop any of them then there is a great risk of getting into a great-power war.

I am not going to talk about what the US should do right now because it is a waste of time. Nothing of consequence will get done by the Obama adminstration.

What you should do is get ready for a preemtpive nuclear attack on the US in the middle of the night while you are sleeping with no warning. Then you need a plan to leave the US at some point.

If you don’t believe there is going to be a nuclear war then you had better start doing some research on this website. The signs are present that the US is in danger of collapse via war.

What is my best estimate for war?

Based on history, big wars have occurred 7 to 10 years after a big financial collapse. That puts 2015 to 2018 at risk. There is no guarantee that a war will occur during those years but that’s my best estimate right now. If there is some kind of Sarajevo moment in 2015 then the spring of 2016 would put the US at risk. We will just have to see what happens during 2015.

Ferguson: Insurrection, not Protest

There is a difference between protest and insurrection. Protestors believe that the system is being abused or not properly followed. Insurrectionists want to replace the current system.

What is occurring in Ferguson is insurrection. There is no evidence that the actions by the police officer charged in the shooting death of Michael Brown, who had just robbed a store, was anything but self-defense. However, that doesn’t matter to the insurrectionist crowd, who wish to use the incident as further means to fundamentally attack the constitutional government of the United States.

It is, indeed, the whole concept of a government based on a constitution providing individual freedom and the separation of powers to prevent tyranny that is on the battle lines recently, from the streets of Ferguson to the Oval Office, where the President dismisses the legitimate role of Congress, and even in the Supreme Court, where one Obama appointee stated during her nominating process that she didn’t believe in the concept of unalienable rights, and another stated that if she were designing a government today she wouldn’t use the U.S. Constitution as a model.

What continues to be missing from the rhetoric of the insurrectionists, or progressives as they prefer to be called, is what they would substitute for the current governing model. That description is missing because they know their concept would be instantly condemned by the overwhelming majority. It is most succinctly stated by Jonathon Gruber, one of the architects of Obamacare, who has expressed his view that Americans are too stupid to know what is good for them. The Progressive model is not new. It is the concept that the great majority of people are too ignorant, undisciplined and just plain bad to govern themselves, so they must have a group of self-proclaimed geniuses to run their lives.

This excuse has been used by monarchs and dictators since the beginning of history. It is becoming increasingly prevalent among American progressives today. One ludicrous example can be seen in individuals who seek to enact measures dictating what people can eat, and politicians, bureaucrats and pundits who offer a variety of reasons to abridge or eliminate the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments, virtually gutting the Bill of Rights.

Since these concepts cannot succeed at the ballot box if openly stated, they are hidden under a variety of tactics. Details of legislation that would raise serious objections are obscured. Former Speaker Pelosi’s extraordinary comment that “We won’t know what’s in the bill (Obamacare) until we pass it” is a prime example. What can’t be enacted at all legislatively is often implemented through bureaucracy, or by President Obama’s unconstitutional attempt to by pass Congress in clear defiance of the Constitution.

Dishonesty is the bulwark and major weapon of the Progressive movement. When the truth rears its head, Progressives must slap it down. Consider journalists, such as Sharyl Attkinson, who continue to be harassed or dismissed when they challenge the prevailing and fraudulent orthodoxy of the Progressive leadership, or scientists who question the misrepresentation of data that has been abused to further the progressive agenda. It is greatly noticeable in many universities, where free speech is rapidly becoming an endangered species for non-leftist students.

The Ferguson incident is a true bonanza for the Progressive movement, taking real issues such as the Obama Administration’s utter failures in the realms of the economy and foreign affairs off the front pages. The encouragement of disunity–blacks vs. whites, men vs. women, young vs. old—is the current incarnation of the time-honored tactic of distract, divide and conquer.

So many of the headline stories dominating the news today fall into this category.

Ferguson: Insurrection, not Protest – New York International Politics |

What the ‘Inequality’ Warriors Really Want – WSJ

So when all is said and done, the inequality warriors want the government to confiscate wealth and control incomes so that wealthy individuals cannot influence politics in directions they don’t like. Koch brothers, no. Public-employee unions, yes. This goal, at least, makes perfect logical sense. And it is truly scary.

Prosperity should be our goal. And the secrets of prosperity are simple and old-fashioned: property rights, rule of law, economic and political freedom. A limited government providing competent institutions. Confiscatory taxation and extensive government control of incomes are not on the list.

John H. Cochrane: What the ‘Inequality’ Warriors Really Want – WSJ

The talk on inequality is really just like the talk on climate change. It’s just a means of grabbing power for the progressives. Then they can dole out money to their cronies for things they like. Actually fixing problems is mostly irrelevant. And in the process shutting down the other side of the political spectrum.

Progressives are on a dangerous path in America, and I can see that right now they are at a tipping point in terms of attaining complete and irreversible control. It will not be a straight shot for them as the mid-term elections just showed. However, they are relentless. Eventually the weight of immigration will make it more and more difficult for the other side to win elections. And even when the other side does win, it doesn’t seem to matter all that much in terms of direction traveled. We just move slower in the same direction. Nothing ever seems to get done that actually moves the country in the opposite direction.

Putin Targets the Scandinavians – The American Interest

Russia naval and airspace incursions in the Baltic Sea area are aimed at deterring Sweden and Finland from increasing their cooperation with NATO.

As world leaders publicly shun and condemn Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Brisbane over Russia’s continued aggression in Ukraine, a larger and critically important strategic shift is underway in northeastern Europe and the Baltics. Russia is making a series of moves to block any prospect of regional security cooperation that might anchor Scandinavia, the Baltics, and Central Europe into a larger security configuration. Moscow’s immediate goal is to neutralize any Swedish and Finnish debate on joining NATO. The escalation of air space violations and maritime intrusions by Russia in the Nordic/Baltic space, the most notorious being the Swedish navy’s chase of a phantom Russian submarine last October, amount to an all-out psychological war aimed at intimidating both the elites and the publics of Sweden, Finland, and others in the Baltic region.

Putin Targets the Scandinavians – The American Interest

Merkel, Georgian Leader Warn of Russia’s Cold War-Style Meddling – WSJ

“This is not just about Ukraine,” Ms. Merkel said in a question-and-answer session after giving a foreign-policy speech in Sydney. “This is about Moldova, this is about Georgia, and if this continues then one will have to ask about Serbia and one will have to ask about the countries of the Western Balkans.”

American officials agreed with a large part of Ms. Merkel’s assessment, warning Russia against expanding its aims.

“Russia has violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbors.,” said a senior administration official in Washington. “These activities, which threaten the international order and the foundations of peace in Europe, are of grave concern to the United States as well as to our allies.”

Merkel, Georgian Leader Warn of Russia’s Cold War-Style Meddling – WSJ

Russian Bombers Threaten Guam | Washington Free Beacon

“We had better start taking these activities and Russian nuclear strategy seriously and take actions that enhance our nuclear deterrent, or we risk a serious miscalculation on Putin’s part that could result in a major war,

The latest bomber flights around the island, located 4,000 miles southeast of Hawaii, appeared timed to coincide with the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia and come amid new tensions with Russia over Ukraine.

The flights took place a day before President Obama arrived in Brisbane for the summit where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The nuclear bomber provocations have been going on since 2007 but clearly have reached an unprecedented level in 2014,” said Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon official involved in strategic nuclear policy.

“We had better start taking these activities and Russian nuclear strategy seriously and take actions that enhance our nuclear deterrent, or we risk a serious miscalculation on Putin’s part that could result in a major war,” said Schneider, now with the National Institute for Public Policy.

Russian Bombers Threaten Guam | Washington Free Beacon

Will our leaders ever wake up to the increasing Russian threat? I don’t think it’s possible.

Iran Vows to Flood Gaza With Millions of Iranians – Middle East – News – Arutz Sheva

The head of Iran’s Basij paramilitary force has claimed it is raising an army of “millions” to flood Gaza and Syria to support Tehran’s allies.

Fars, Iran’s semi-official newspaper, reported that that Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, Commander the Basij paramilitary force, as saying: “Millions of Basijis (volunteer forces) are ready in Iran to be dispatched to Syria and Gaza and they have come to us (for registration).” 

Thousands of Iranian volunteers – mostly tied with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards force – are already reportedly fighting alongside pro-regime forces in Syria, where Iran is attempting to forge a Syrian Hezbollah composed of Shia Islamist foot-soldiers.

Iran Vows to Flood Gaza With Millions of Iranians – Middle East – News – Arutz Sheva

Hamas said activating Jerusalem cells as Israel rocked by synagogue massacre | World Tribune

Israel has determined that Hamas activated operational cells in Jerusalem in advance of a bloody attack in a Jerusalem synagogue.

Officials said the intelligence community has assessed that Hamas was activating operational cells based in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. They said the cells included those released in the massive prisoner exchange in 2011, many of whom became local commanders.

Hamas said activating Jerusalem cells as Israel rocked by synagogue massacre | World Tribune

Monitoring emerging risks.