Friday, July 29, 2016

Neuroscience in PSYOPS, World Order, and More

One of the funny things that I've heard is that people from one side believe that people from another side are somehow 'brainwashed' into believing what they do. As we saw in out last post there is a lot of manipulation and social engineering going on if you think about it, We're going to examine just exactly why the connection seems to be so strong though and how to break through. You may need some further background though so there will be extra links as usual:
- at the very core of this we do things that make us feel good. In fact, most of our socio-economic systems are based around doing some act in order to again something in return. Nowadays, this means basically capitalism and society. At a psychological level though what has happened is that we're conditioned to believe in a particular system over time. Think about this, when we went to school and learnt a particular version of history, science, religion, etc... we were awarded for understanding why it was superior. This continues into adulthood where we're monetarily rewarded for doing basically the same thing
- what this means for our neurochemistry and the way our brains work isn't obvious because most people specialise into particular fields of speciality and often with no-medical background. Basically, there is a change in our brain chemistry, an increase in certain feel-good neurotransmitters and hormones, etc... Like the original Pavlonian experiments (with dogs) I'm guessing that we've also suffered the side effects of this. Even without being given feedback for given stimuli people can still continue to believe in a system in spite of not being provided with a reward/feedback. Whether this is by accident or design is the obvious question?
Neurotransmitters of the human body
Dopamine's effects on learning and memory - Eric Marr at TEDxCCS
Neuroscience 201-1 - Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
- this takes me to our next point most of the time we 'break' when something is wrong with what we see whether it is our socio-economic system, religion, etc... Over time, people riot, spies turn, and so on... Fundamentally, what happens though is that our brain chemistry changes which means we no longer feel good about our environment which results in altered behaviour. The clear brilliance of this is if it were intended it's the ultimate form of mind control. People don't even realised that they are under the spell of PSYOPS until something drastic happens to break the chain (for instance, disillusionment amongst those who have long term illness, unemployment, go to wars on questionable grounds, etc...)
- ironically, this can be facilitated which is basically what the original German Nazi MK ULTRA and equivalent US (including 'enhanced interrogation'), Russian, and other country's programs figured out. Basically, you sleep deprive people, ply them with drugs, torture them, etc... until you think that they are 'broken' and then you try to get them to do what you want. Anyone who is trained or has enough background in these areas know that the results can be extremely volatile/variable though. False memories, aversion to pain, false confessions, etc... It can literally go anywhere (though they wouldn't continue with this practice unless people were getting results?)?
- the reason why people have become more 'subdued' over time is probably because there are so many alternative avenues for pleasure nowadays. They can drown their sorrows, seek pleasure in so many different ways, food, drink, drugs, sports, etc... Basically, it becomes much more difficult to break them down if they are already at such a high 'peak' (in spite of things not being too great environmentally). Moreover, based on some of the evidence that I've seen a lot of what is in our environment makes it even more difficult to 'break down'. For instance, experiments have proven that there isn't too much of a difference between what junk food does to our brain chemistry and what long term drug addiction can do it. (As an aside, I think this is the key difference and why capitalism will win out unless it's flaws are explained. Capitalism may provide you with more rapid development but at a cost (crashes, time, quality of life, etc...) that you only figure out much later). Remove exposure to some of these aspects and perspectives may change (or else increase exposure while in your presence which explains why 'marketing' has become increasingly more aggressive over time)?
Super Size Me - YouTube
The Century of the Self (Full Documentary)
- there's obviously a flip side to all of this. If you know how it works you can also reduce the chances of you bring 'broken'. As has been discovered by people in defense proper sleep can have a drastic impact upon your brain chemistry, as can diet, fitness, etc... At times, it makes me wonder whether or not some people are more easily radicalised/turned/broken simply based on these factors alone? Would simply fiddling around with a person's diet/brain chemistry (to just make them healthier not necessarily to 'control them') make them less likely to turn? This is particularly the case if the medication we're prescribing people for existing conditions makes people's lives worse (reduced cognition, reduced motor function, etc...) which means that they don't take it anymore?
Detoxification Explained with Dr  Jack Tips
Cleansing & Detoxification - Brenda Watson
- irony is that mental health care options have become worse as economic growth has worsened. Even if people (or family and friends want to admit them for professional care) they can't (or don't have any options). The irony is that seemingly as has been mentioned previously there is a heap of money parked off shore but don't really have the ability or genuine desire to bring it back (question mark because am honestly unsure what the truth is here)?
- the problem with the world nowadays is that most of the time people don't have the time to figure or are interested to find out the truth. The only real way to figure out whether people or organisations is to look at their entire history. Are certain unusual/awkward actions deliberate or accidental? Are there things which can be easily proven (or not) which can allow you to guage whether or not they genuine? As stated in my last post if you want to know the truth you need to figure out to remain passive at all times. Ask the most neutral question that you possibly can and assess the answer based on the results that you can find (notwithstanding biased search engines, media PSYOPS, etc...). Also understand that a lot of people are probably just a victim of circumstances. Sometimes, they have to make a decision and the only choices that they have aren't great. Factor in the fact that the 'lives' of countries are much longer than that of people and you can see how complicated things can become
How did the Western countries become so powerful?
- in geo-politics 'ally' basically means following orders in spite of how awkward it may appear at times. Countries do really silly things (especially in hindsight). You won't understand how veterans/refugees hold certain opinions without further background. Looking back at things it's clear that a lot of politicians and public certain have 'slowed down' (for instance, Kissinger seemed much more vibrant back then)
Cold War - Vietnam  [E11_24]
Cold War Series
- a few blog posts ago I wondered whether the Western world was turning into the USSR. If you knew just exactly how many gimmicks we had to come up with to keep things going you'd find it funny as well as distressing. There have been some former members of the USSR who have noticed the same thing apparently. Just like in the West though there are those among them who have a very extreme perspective  of what the West is, what is wrong with it, etc... After a while, it becomes obvious a lot of people in the 'establishment' appear so paranoid. If you're viewing raw intelligence constantly (mixed in with dis-information, multiple perspectives, etc...) that's going to be your perspective of the world permanently (to normal people they'll appear overly paranoid). For me, the most interesting case are those who were former members of the intelligence community who went into politics (Putin, Bush, etc...). Both coy to an extent but if you push them in the wrong way, if they feel manipulated into making an unwise decision, etc... they will push back hard which makes them appear 'thuggish' at times
Collapse of the Titans
Dmitry Orlov - Russia's Patience Is Wearing Thin (Incomplete Audio)
'American Liberalism Must be Destroyed' – Alexander Dugin at Texas A&M University, April 29, 2015
The Balkanization of America
Political Scientist Igor Panarin Predicts 2010 would see U.S split into six Pieces
The Kremlin's Goal, Divide the USA
Igor Panarin & the Balkanization of the United States
Who destroyed the Soviet Union
`There will be civil war in US in 2009`
Keiser Report - Crisis of Capitalism (Summer solutions series E942)
Dmitry Orlov: The US Is Sleepwalking Towards A Nuclear Confrontation
Dmitry Orlov - Seizing the Mid-Collapse Moment
- there's no doubt that the US is weakening relative to the rest of the world. If there is to be a transition it could be a disaster if not managed properly. If honest with ourselves if China was that much of a threat surely we'd just stop trading with them? There are other options as others have mentioned (downstream but perhaps not upstream)
- basically, if the US are going to try something the Russians will try the exact same back against them
I am not your friend, I am the President of Russia
- this is part of the problem. Even if there has been election tampering (internal and/or external) the silly thing is that most people aren't realising that basically the primary job has been done. A lot of commentators are saying the same thing. Both candidates feel like they lack preparation. Common criticism of both candidates is that they lack reason, judgement, facts. Worrying thing is that by the time either candidate hits office they may not have the time to figure things out. Note how narrow the perspective of some people are? If you spend enough time watching the think tank circuit of (insert arbitrary country name here) you'll notice a 'tunnel vision' type effect owing to (accident or design) impact of society
'CrossTalk' Trump vs. Clinton
Trump vs. Clinton - anger vs establishment _ Quadriga
Hannity 5_27_16 Full - Newt Gingrich - Trump Vs Clinton Will Change Everything
O'Reilly Factor 5_19_16 FULL - Trump vs Clinton on the Issues
Hannity 7_12_16 Full - Obama Wrong, Hannity Pissed! Trump vs Clinton
Sam Harris on Donald Trump vs. Hilary Clinton (June 15 2016)
Progressives worst nightmare. Trump vs Clinton
- both candidates could be unclean? Allegations out there that Trump is supported/funded by Russia and that there are also Chinese and Russian connections with Clinton. Guess it doesn't really matter as long as their policies aren't compromised? Then there is financial backing that for which there is a lot of public debate about as well
‘They have a history of corruption’ - Clinton Cash documentary author Peter Schweizer
Donald Trump (R) - Top Contributors, federal election data
CrossTalk on Trump - Siberian Candidate
DUGIN'S GUIDELINE -Trump and Clinton the battle will be bloody
Michael Millerman - Who is Alexander Dugin
Aleksandr Dugin - Pussy Riot's Global Blackmail
Alexander Dugin - 'Putin vs Putin' (Arktos, 2014) – Promo
Vladimir Posner Interviews Alexander Dugin
The Age of Authoritarianism (and How to Combat it)
- this is the crux of it. You can fake data to make it look like things are going great but if people having genuine problems there will still be civil unrest
- incredibly negative and desperate campaigns. Difficult to watch and listen to sometimes. I don't want to feel sorry for them. I would want a reason to vote for (either of) them
- one of the things I've been wondering about this was why didn't they consider fake radio broadcasts (with body double) and takeover via local radio broadcast station? Also, why hasn't there been greater research methods into alternate take down methods? For instance, I'm aware that there has been research into non-lethal methods using physical shock, sound, etc... to knock out a people within a perimeter unconsciousness? Practicality, cost, legal issues, etc? Also, am aware that the Russians and US have both been working on biological weapons for covert operations for decades. Tiny drones disguised as insects (already prototyped) that administer the 'medication' to 'neutralise' terrorist threats? Practicality? In the case of people suffering 'psychotic episodes' wonder whether it's possible to aerosolise medication and just push it through the ventilation system prior to talking to them or else taking action to increase chances if success?

Over and over again of late people have been praising the our 'Rules Based Order'. I wanted to check just exactly how many rules countries adhere to and what share of the global burden each of them takes:
- signed international UN Human Rights treaties by country. I guarantee that you'll be surprised by some at the top and the bottom
- another strange one given the recent trouble in the South China Seas. Some of those countries involved have not ratified UNCLOS or are choosing the way they want to interpret it
- refugee instake by country. Most of the developing coutries are taking the burden (though more developed countries contribute to foreign aide)?
Refugee population by country or territory of asylum
- foreign aide. Once again, you'll be surprised by some of those at the top especially when it comes to comparing relative size to their economy
- peacemaker and humanitarian contribution. You'll be surprised by some of the countries doing the heavy lifting? Most of the developing coutries are taking the burden (though more developed countries contribute to foreign aide)?
- disputes count at the WTO. Developed nations at the top (though they engage in more trade generally?)
wto dispute count by country
- UN financing. Makes a little more sense (US in particular a long way ahead of the pack) but if you look there are some unusual ones at the top as well. Not countries that you'd expect funding such a large proportion of UN operations
- tax evasion seems to be rampant. In fact, in some countries
tax evasion by country
- you'll be surprised by who comes up on top with regards to justice
justice index by country
- people say that global values are mostly Western. Things have moderated definitely but people still very much cling on to their national and religious values
- in spite of what is often said only very few countries are classified 'fully democratic'. Once again, you'll never guess who's on top. In fact, there are strange countries in strange positions in many places. One of the obvious ironies of demanding liberal democracies everywhere is that people may not want it? Imagine you had the greatest king, tzar, emperor, ruler, etc... of all time. Would you still demand democracy?
- making more sense. Developed countries back on top
- depending on the source you'll hear heaps of stuff about terrorist activity reducing drastically after one particular event or another. It's not like that. Moreover, it is on the public record that a lot of these organisations have questionable credentials and reputations. As has been demonstrated by WikiLeaks and straight out public acknowledgement many countries have been engaged in covert activities in the past and at present
- heaps of rumors around but never been entirely clear how you profit from war (for me)?
stolen wealth world war by country
stolen wealth war by country
BBC Panorama - Daylight Robbery
Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them (2006)
How to Profit Off War - Iraq, Afghanistan and Big-Money Special Interests (2003)
Iraq For Sale - The War Profiteers • FULL DOCUMENTARY FILM • BRAVE NEW FILMS
Keiser Report - Food Stamp Army (E134)
- some theories out there which say that Western wealth comes down to 'colonialism'. Without this, the world's wealth would have been much more 'balanced'? Also some theories (came up during search) regarding Hitler, Mao, etc... being British agents? Even if proven it's still very strange especially given the fact that Britain lost their empire as a consequence of WWI and WWII (though it's clear that the UK handed over the reigns to the US after WWII)?
why is the united states so much richer than other countries
2016 - OBAMA'S AMERICA Dinesh D'Souza's Movie with Glenn Beck on GBTV's_America
2016: Obama's America (2012)
2016 film
How the West Re-colonized China
Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Rothschilds & British Royal Family Connections
Hitler British Agent - Queen Elizabeth - Prince Philip - Rothschild - Clinton - Illuminati
How Corporate America Supported Nazi Germany - Jacques Pauwels
- contributors to world health. You'll be really surprised by the one on top over the period of 1976-2015. Rest are sort of what you'd expect
- go through WADA figures over the years. You'll be surprised at some of the 'leaders' in this particular area. It's not who you would think (I've heard one theory which says that rich countries have access to the latest performance enhancing drugs which means that they wouldn't necessarily be detectable using current techniques. Surely, this would be dealt with via retro-active testing?)?
- interesting that the US tended to be late to the fight in both World Wars but is now 'expected' to act as a global peace keeper? A lot of what is often said doesn't make sense? You'll be surprised by who profited and lost most (both via GDP, equipment, troop numbers, etc...) by both World Wars (not trying to trivialise anything. It's just that now some things seem to get passed over? I've known soldiers from different sides of the equation, soldiers who came back safe, others who came back injured, civilians who were stuck in the middle of a conflict, others who escaped it, people who were fundamentally against it or for a particular intervention, people whose countries have been under genuine existential threat, people who have gone to concentration/re-education camps and have stayed in them for multiple decades, etc...)
The economics of World War II: an overview*
- contributors to global economy growth. Usual countries you'd expect
- have some strange countries who are non-signatories
- most new dispute numbers in favour of developed countries but most trade occurs between these countries
problem and resolution
- disputes reasonably spread out here
world bank disputes by country
- there is favouritism and re-writing of rules
- use of vetoes at UN is headed up by the usual suspects
- list of war crimes. Problem here is that the UN is corrupt. countries will trade favours with one another to obstruct certain proceedings, to push forward their own agendas, etc... land annexations
- works until it doesn't. they want MMT to work hence the PSYOPS but in reality it still doesn't make any sense if you examine it from a mathematical perspective. you're going to either gradually stagnate or else you'll collapse
- happiness index by country. Not entirely relevant but I wanted to see
- more surprises with regards to crime rankings by country
crime index by country
- once, again you'll be surprised by who leads the way in terms of free and fair elections
- you what won't be surprised by who is the outright leader in defense spending. You will be surprised by who is leading with regards to percentage spending on GDP though. The other thing you need to factor in is defense treaties/pacts and coalitions built in response to specific events. Wasn't easily find a collated list of defense treaties based on country alone...
defense spending by country
Military expenditure (% of GDP)
defense treaties by country
- this isn't entirely relevant but I wanted to know why if which countries had been involved in most the most wars, why there are so many NATO bases all over the place, etc... Obviously, this isn't clear cut. The big problem with this one is that countries have taken on various colonial, humanitarian, and peacekeeping, etc... roles over time
which countries have been involved in the most wars
why are there so many nato bases all over the world
US Spending Over $150 Billion Annually On Overseas Military Bases

Random Stuff:
- updated Ableton MIDI script for Launchpad MK2 out already if required
Launchpad95: Instrument, Scales, Step Sequencer, Device Ctrl
- making money in media difficult now apparently,-it-has-provided-a-new-coat-of-paint.html
- sometimes seems ridiculous. Wouldn't be surprised if they were somehow some form of state involvement
- always wondered about where and how to hide bike motors. Apparently, quite powerful nowadays
- it makes sense why people couldn't take him seriously as a possible Prime Ministerial candidate. In spite of his silliness (reminds me a George W. Bush), he's likely to bring goodwill to Britain
The Best of Boris Johnson
Funniest Interview with Boris Johnson (not to be missed!)
Jeremy Paxman interviews Boris Johnson at the Tory Party Conference
- so many gimmicks now in an effort to save 'capitalism'. Other obvious gimmicks include changing the way things are valued to (by de-facto) create inflation, helicopter money/coupons, debt jubilee, wealth re-distribution, etc... Other growth source is 'space' (and obviously the 'sea' as well which explains a lot of what China, Russia, and the US have been engaging in a lot of of late)? The most obvious source is mining the moon... Doubt we have viable, cheap enough, technology to do so? The one interesting thing about me for capitalism is how often it 'crashes' or that you require one person to suffer relative to another and the interplay between religion and modern society. It's for that reason alone that you have to find the current global economic stagnation interesting. Curious thing for me is the way we calculate value versus the way it works in our environment. Life begets life, new ideas, and so on. In our way of life it feels as though we try to stop things at time
- drivers for Steinberg Cubase system
MI4 on Win7 64
- some useful free music resources here
- this is one of the frustrating aspects of the Internet now. As a content creator and consumer you hate it and love it. Even if you try to do things legitimately all the time the fact is with the Internet the way it is you just don't know. Think about all of the documents and files that are on the public Internet (especially music and video) that probably shouldn't be up there? I know that there is work being done on this but have to wonder how much content that is on display should be on display?
- not sure whether this was quoted out of context? Bizarre that the EU can't have a military based on what UK wants? Surely cost savings would help them a bit? At times, it feels like countries make trade offs between trade and defense but sometimes things go askew?
Scrapping NATO EU looks to create own military to face off against external threats
- alternate method to dealing with stealth and BVR combat, forces behind enemy lines or long range bombardment. Funny thing is that back during the 'Cold War' the USSR had data in almost real time regarding some of the West's most advanced technologies. They just didn't care or didn't have the money to implement them. You have to wonder whether it's still the same? Modern warfare dictated by sensor game? If I knew I could never compete straight up against a near peer threat I would be looking to sensor blinding, denial of service style attacks, overloading, decoys, unconventional/hybrid warfare, etc... Whether defending or attacking it makes things a lot cheaper especially they can't tell the difference between real threats and decoys. Obviously, bigger problems if your missile defense system can't detect the difference as opposed to expendable drones. One thing I've noticed with new Russian weapons is that they always break down at a public event? At times, it feels like it's 'staged'?
The F-35 could be Over Syria by Fall.
- spoke about this concept earlier on this blog. Cheap, expendable drones that are to be controlled by ground troops or else a 'mother ship/aircraft' of some form
LCASD - the drone everyone's been clamoring for
- when these things happen you wonder whether or not it's more the fault of the animal or humans?
- for some strange reason I think they'll have more than enough time to correct things if/when it actually needs to be deployed?
- search engines are ubiquitous nowadays. On particular topics and in particular regions search engine rigging is really obvious. You can search for something and something completely unrelated can turn up and if you know enough about PSYOPS you understand why this is the case. What I'm wondering about is how much of an economic advantage rigging provides (if it is done)?

Quotes from recent media:
- The highest court in the Russian Far Eastern region of Kamchatka has ordered the cancelation of an earlier ruling recognizing a 1942 Disney cartoon depicting Donald Duck’s adventures in Nazi Germany as ‘extremist material’.

The ruling in question was passed by the city court of Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky in 2010. Back then the judge gave a six-month suspended sentence to a local resident for distributing extremist materials over the internet. The propaganda included the Oscar-winning animation ‘Der Fuehrer's Face’ that the accused called ‘Donald Duck and Fascism’ in Russian and because of this the film has been included in the Russian federal list of banned extremist materials.

When prosecutors discovered this fact they filed a cassation with the regional court explaining that the video is a classic Walt Disney cartoon made within the framework of an anti-Nazi propaganda campaign. They also wrote that the film contains no calls to extremism - on the contrary, it depicts Nazi ideology in satirical and mocking forms.

The court agreed with this statement and also ruled that the film’s characters are not promoting violence against anyone.

‘Der Fuehrer's Face’ - also known under the title ‘Donald Duck in Nutzi Land’ - was created in the United States in 1943 and in the same year its director, Jack Kinney, received the Academy Award for best animated short.

Current Russian law bans any public calls for extremism or attempts to humiliate people and provides that such actions should be punished with up to five years in prison. This applies to internet posts as well as mass media publications. Decisions on the subject are made by regional courts, but once something is recognized as extremism anywhere in the country, this material is included in the federal list of banned information.
- One of the UK's newest nuclear-powered submarines has docked in Gibraltar after a collision with a merchant vessel during a training exercise.

The Royal Navy said it has launched an immediate investigation after HMS Ambush was involved in the "glancing collision" while submerged off the coast of the British territory.

There is "some external damage" but no crew members were injured, it added.

The Astute-class attack submarine's nuclear reactor was undamaged.
- It was 47 years ago that NASA won the space race against the Soviet Union, and Apollo 11 astronauts first walked on the Moon.

And now American companies have pitched a series of new plans that would see the country finally return to the lunar surface... this time, alongside the Russians.

The collaboration between the two countries isn't entirely surprising - Russia and America have been working together in space since their association on the International Space Station (ISS) first began in 1993.

But with the ISS scheduled to plummet to its watery grave in 2024, the two countries' space agencies have been preparing to part ways and focus on new projects.

For NASA, that focus is getting humans on Mars by the 2030s, and the US space agency has made it abundantly clear that it has no intention of returning to the Moon anytime soon - unless the Russian space agency Roskosmos or the European Space Agency (ESA) takes the lead.

But while NASA might not be interested in the Moon specifically, a lot of its plans for getting to Mars involve the area around the Moon (known as cislunar space).

For example, step two of the three-step plan involves capturing an asteroid and putting it in orbit around the Moon, so that a crew on board the Orion spacecraft can explore it in the 2020s.
- NSW Labor has labelled a children's book that highlights the benefits of the government's multi-billion dollar re-development of the Bays Precinct in central Sydney as "propaganda" and demanded it be withdrawn from the state's classrooms.

The picture book, pushed into schools by the NSW government's property development arm, UrbanGrowth, also comes with a teacher's guide on educating students about the project that will encompass the Ultimo, Rozelle, Pyrmont and Glebe foreshore.

"It's a big picture, very visual, colourful book," says Belinda Thompson, the schools manager for UrbanGrowth NSW in a video promoting the resource.

The video also features UrbanGrowth's public relations specialist, Holly Langler, giving a lesson to children in a public primary school.

The book does not give alternative voices who might be concerned by the development or to those who work in the area such as maritime contractors.

On Thursday, Labor leader Luke Foley called for the withdrawal of the resource. "This government propaganda push is what you would expect to occur in a third-world banana republic," he said.

It is the second school-based public relations initiative from the Baird government in the past year after it awarded a $2 million contract to Elton Consulting to spruik a rail line to primary and secondary children titled: "How the Sydney Metro Northwest will change their communities for the better".
- France has formally demanded that Microsoft stops collecting private user data and tracking browsing habits. Should the corporation fail to fulfill the request within three months, it risks facing further sanctions and paying fines of up to €150,000 ($165,000).

On Wednesday the National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) issued a formal statement in which it said that Microsoft had three months to polish its privacy policy and bring it into compliance with the French data protection legislation.

“It has been decided to make the formal notice public due to, among other reasons, the seriousness of the breaches and the number of individuals concerned (more than ten million Windows users on French territory),” the CNIL said in a statement.

The issue of Microsoft infringing on users’ privacy was raised in France after the corporation launched its latest Windows 10 operating system a year ago. CNIL then began a series of online investigations which “revealed many failures” including the collection of “irrelevant or excessive (user) data.”
- Few fighter planes have managed to be so beloved and yet boast such an unfavorable combat record as the MiG-29. Of course, this is in large part because the Fulcrum was usually fielded by less developed countries against Western opponents that were more numerous, better trained, and better organized.

Setting the tune of things to come, in the Fulcrum’s first confirmed aerial combat, two Syrian MiG-29 were shot down by Israeli F-15s in 1989. There are reports Israeli fighters shot down another two Syrian MiG-29s in 2001.

During the Gulf War, five Iraqi MiG-29s were shot down by American F-15s. However, a Fulcrum did successfully hit an F-111 and a B-52 bomber with missiles, though both aircraft managed to return to base.

Fulcrums also took a beating in the Ethiopian–Eritrean border conflict of the late 1990s, which featured more evenly matched opponents. Russian mercenaries flew alongside Ethiopian pilots, while Ukrainians supported the Eritrean Air Force. In all, four Eritrean MiG-29s were shot down by Ethiopian Su-27s. In exchange, the Eritrean Fulcrums shot down a Su-25, a MiG-21 and an unidentified fighter (possibly a MiG-23). Over multiple engagements, Flankers and Fulcrums exchanged over two-dozen R-27 missiles at long range for only a single hit. Instead, most of the victories were scored in short-range dogfights using AA-11 missiles.

Sixteen MiG-29s of the Serbian Air Force opposed NATO’s bombing campaign over Kosovo in 1999. Deployed at medium altitude, where they were exposed to hostile radar, five were shot down by F-15s and F-16s without scoring any victories in return.

MiG-29s have also performed ground attack missions in the former Yugoslavia, Moldova, South Sudan, Sudan and Ukraine.

Russian Fulcrums have been involved in a few incidents over the years. In 1989, Soviet defector Alexander Zuyev absconded with a MiG-29 and flew it to Turkey in an incident involving a cake full of sleeping pills, a shootout with a security guard and a failed strafing run. A MiG shot down a Georgian drone in 2008 in an incident preceding the Georgian–Russian war. Ukraine claims a Fulcrum shot down a Ukrainian Su-25 over Eastern Ukraine in 2014.
- The US will send a Navy warship to visit New Zealand for the first time in more than three decades, ending a long-running disagreement with Wellington over nuclear-weapons policies, as rising security jitters in Asia spur the two nations to boost military ties.

Following talks between US Vice President Joe Biden and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Thursday, the countries announced that a US warship would visit a New Zealand port for its navy’s 75th anniversary celebrations in November. Mr. Key said he would make a formal decision to allow the visit in “a number of weeks,” bypassing the country’s longstanding non-nuclear policy and lifting an obstacle to full strategic co-operation between the two countries.

Former New Zealand Labour Prime Minister David Lange in 1984 effectively banned US warships from visiting New Zealand with a policy that required them to declare they weren’t carrying nuclear weapons. The US military has always insisted on ambiguity about the presence of nuclear weapons on American vessels.

While the decision delighted anti-nuclear peace activists at the time, it angered Washington and Australia, which both viewed the decision as a breach of obligations under the 1951 ANZUS treaty binding the three countries as strategic allies.

The US responded by suspending treaty obligations to New Zealand on September 17, 1986, characterising the country as “a friend, but not an ally.”

While New Zealand continued to support the US and other allies by providing troops and military equipment in Afghanistan and Iraq, the suspension largely remained in place until 2008, when then-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice referred to New Zealand as “a friend and ally” on an official visit.
- A consortium of major German companies has offered an over €2 billion investment in the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway, Kommersant daily reported citing its sources.

According to them, officials from Russian Railways (RZD) met with the head of Siemens Russia and CIS Dietrich Meller this month. They discussed the possibility of €1.5 billion investment in the railway construction with an additional €700 million for the purchase of rolling stock. Siemens along with Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Bahn and other major companies are part of the German Initiative Group consortium.

Siemens has said it is ready to provide an enhanced version of the high-speed Sapsan train for the new railway.

The Moscow-Kazan route is planned as part of a network of high-speed lines to be built by the time Russia hosts the football World Cup in 2018.

China has already expressed an interest in funding the Russian project, saying it will put in up to $6 billion. Beijing considers the Moscow-Kazan project not only as an investment, but also as a way to boost communication and trade with Russia and Europe.

The joint Russia-China investment in the railway is about $15 billion.
- For those who haven’t spent time in China’s thriving cities, it can be hard to imagine how digitally connected they are. This is no longer the China of the 1990s, a nation of shoe factories and fake bags, not cutting-edge apps.

Outsiders tend to know one thing about China’s Internet: It’s blocked — no Facebook, Twitter or Google. They imagine a country languishing behind a digital Iron Curtain, waiting, frozen in time, for the fall of the Web’s Berlin Wall.

The United States wants to believe that the scourge of censorship thwarts online innovation, but China is challenging the idea in ways that frighten and confound.

“There’s this strange belief that you can’t build a mobile app if you don’t know the truth about what happened in Tiananmen Square,” said Kaiser Kuo, who recently stepped down as head of international communications for Baidu, one of China’s leading tech companies, and hosts Sinica, a popular podcast. “Trouble is, it’s not true.”

The truth is that behind the Great Firewall — the system of censorship designed to block content that could challenge the Chinese Communist Party — China’s tech scene is flourishing in a parallel universe.
- Right now, the U.S. government is responsible for about a third of all the government debt in the entire world.  Fortunately the financial world continues to lend us gigantic mountains of money at ridiculously low interest rates, but if that were to ever change we would be in an enormous amount of trouble very rapidly.

For instance, if the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt simply returns to the long-term average, we would very quickly find ourselves spending more than a trillion dollars a year just in interest on the national debt.

And as the Baby Boomers age, our “unfunded liabilities” threaten to absolutely swamp us.  By the year 2025, it is being projected that “mandatory” federal spending on “unfunded liabilities” such as Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare plus interest on the national debt will exceed total federal revenue.  What that means is that we will spend every penny we bring in before a single dollar is spent on the military, homeland security, paying federal workers, building roads and bridges, etc.

In recent years the Federal Reserve has also had a “buy now, pay later” mentality.

While Obama has been in the White House, the size of the Fed balance sheet has grown by about two and a half trillion dollars.  The goal has been to artificially pump up the economy, but when the Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air it is actually a tax on all of us.  The purchasing power of every dollar that we will spend in the future has been diminished thanks to the Fed, but most Americans don’t understand this.

What most Americans want is for someone to “fix things” in the short-term, and not much consideration is ever given to the long-term damage that is being done.
- No matter who takes the U.S. presidency, the odds of a naval war with China remain low — at least in the near future. The two nations are simply too intertwined to rush headlong into conflict. A Chinese state-run paper rightly points out that “only maniacs would start a war between China and the U.S.”

But nationalistic bluster is intensifying in both countries. And each year, an increasing number of warships, missiles and drones are brought to the sea to jockey for supremacy.

The sea is primed for an unintended event — a drone shot down, a game of chicken between warships gone too far — that would demand extraordinary tact from a future U.S. president seeking to avoid war.

As China’s state-run Global Times puts it: “An accidental gunshot might put policymakers in both countries under huge pressure from public opinion, which could unexpectedly escalate the situation and lead to a grave crisis
- Gillard said: “Kevin’s operating style was dysfunctional. It was a great pity. Kevin is a highly intelligent man. If you wanted to talk to someone over dinner about the geopolitics of the region for the next 20 years, then you couldn’t have a better companion than Kevin Rudd. But Kevin’s fatal flaw was that he couldn’t delegate, he couldn’t manage his time, he couldn’t plan strategically as opposed to plan tactically.

“Under pressure he was a great prevaricator. His reaction to not being able to decide was to ask for more and more briefs and more and more paperwork that would never get read. Then he felt the pressure more and more; there was more paper and more chaos. It would get worse, not better.”

Gillard would joke about Rudd’s operational dysfunction. She would take home 200 briefs on the weekend. The system began to look to her. “I was clearing briefs and correspondence in a routine way,” she says. “People would say: ‘Have you done all those briefs? It’s only 11am.’ It was as though I’d turned water into wine.”

Senate leader Chris Evans said: “Julia spent the first two years of government running around cleaning up the mess, day after day. She was not given enough credit for that.”

This was a highly unsatisfactory modus operandi, guaranteed to strain personal relations and lead to trouble. It meant Gillard lost respect for Rudd.

Greg Combet was promoted under both Rudd and Gillard. He offers a practical yet alarming view of Rudd’s style: “You’d have to say the government had become dysfunctional. Rudd’s approach to governing was the real reason he was replaced. That’s not often appreciated.

“Rudd failed in his management of his colleagues on any assessment. He tried to take it all on himself. He was terrified of leaks and wanted to keep everything tight; colleagues were not engaged, cabinet processes were not followed. The SPBC system (the strategic priorities and budget committee, or “gang of four”, consisting of Rudd, Gillard, Swan and finance minister Lindsay Tanner) led to very poor process.

“Ministers were travelling around from city to city trying to get an audience with the SPBC; as a minister that’s where you had to go. So Rudd would have a full day in one city, then all the SPBC members, all the public servants, the deputy secretaries, the advisers would be rushing out to buy underpants and toothbrushes because they were now staying the night, then we’d decamp the next day to yet another city in the hope of getting in, waiting all the time for huge decisions to be taken.”
- Recent attacks suggest an evol­ution of a new type of terrorist: someone not previously on the counter-terrorism authorities’ radar but who is socially, emotionally or mentally unstable and susceptible to rapid radical­isation. The government is also deeply concerned about terrorists using fast-evolving technology including encryption to hide their communications from police and security agencies.
- Australia's largest ever investment boom of $200 billion into Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) during the past decade has crashed spectacularly, and left the Federal Government with little or no revenue to show for it.
Key points

Australia's gas is now being exported to Asia at close to the cost of production, leaving investors with marginal returns and raising the prospect some coal seam gas projects may be mothballed.

"We are on the cusp of becoming the biggest gas or LNG exporter in the world," energy analyst Greg Houston told 7.30.

But the collapse of the gas price means that there will be little or no financial benefit.

"The crash is a slow-moving train wreck, if you like," Mr Houston said.

"The price has dropped by 75 per cent.

"That's a huge financial hit to the people who have made this investment."

Long-term contracts for Australian gas have been pegged to the price of oil, which has meant the recent steep fall in the oil price has also hit LNG exports.
- At the end of the Cold War, funding for the Soviet Navy collapsed. The fifth Kirov was cancelled, the first suffered damage and was never repaired, and construction of the fourth (Pyotr Velikiy) was delayed. In a move characteristic of the turbulent politics of twentieth-century Russia, all four existing and incomplete Kirovs acquired new names.

Currently only Pyotr Velikiy, the last of the four ships, remains in active service. But unlike some of the white elephants of the Soviet period, the Russians have found a good use for her. The Russian Navy has used Pyotr Velikiy heavily, showing the flag around the world to demonstrate the continued  relevance of Russian seapower. She even conducted antipiracy operations for a time off Somalia, perhaps one of the greatest mismatches between mission and capability in recent memory.

Over the years, rumors have persisted regarding the return of the three other Kirovs to service.  The Russian Federation finally decided, in 2015, to begin a thoroughgoing refit of Admiral Nakhimov, third ship in the class, and the only besides Pyotr Velikiy to receive significant post–Cold War maintenance.  The refit will amount very nearly to a full reconstruction on lines similar to the rebuilds of battleships during the interwar period. Nakhimov will receive major upgrades in radars and electronics, as well as the addition of a Vertical Launch System to replace her existing array of SSMs. This will serve to make her a far more modern, capable unit.  When Nakhimov leaves refit in 2018,Pyotr Velikiy is scheduled to receive the same treatment over a three-year period.

The other two ships will likely never return to service. Kirov (later Admiral Ushakov) suffered a reactor accident in 1990 and was never fully repaired. Frunze (now Admiral Lazarev) entered reserve in 1994, and is reputedly in very poor material condition.

The Kirovs fulfilled, and continue to fulfill, a very real role for Russian seapower. They can threaten U.S. assets, while also providing an impressive, prestigious platform for the display of Russian maritime prowess. They demonstrate that the large surface ship model that went out of style at the end of World War II can nevertheless result in a formidable collection of weapons, depending on the configuration of those systems. Assuming that the refits ofNakhimov and Pyotr Velikiy continue to go forward, we can anticipate continuing to see these ships in Russia service for decades.
- Federal Court Justice Anthony North slammed the business and its operators in his judgment last year.

“It is immoral to seek to harness the fears and anxieties of men suffering from ED [erectile dysfunction] or PE [premature ejaculation] for the purpose of selling medical treatments,” Justice North said.

“To target the patient’s vulnerability in this way is to use an unfair tactic and that is a possible marker of unconscionable conduct”.

He took aim at sales tactics used to convince men to sign up for treatment, which the court learned of thanks to millions of recorded telephone calls.

“Sales people used high-pressure selling techniques by telling men that their penis would shrink and they would suffer psychological impotence if they did not agree to the treatment,” Justice North said.

The men were told they would get a refund if the treatment failed, but were not told that they must try all treatment options — including injecting the drug into their penises.
- COTTON: Vladimir Putin was a KGB spy and he never got over that. He does not have America's best interests at heart and he does not have any American interests at heart. I suspect, after this week, when Donald Trump is the nominee and he begins to receive classified briefings, similar briefings to what I receive as a member of the Intelligence Committee, he may have a different perspective on Vladimir Putin and what Russia is doing to America's interests and allies in Europe and the Middle East and Asia.

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