Category Archives: Photo

A mechanically stored static image having an eerie similarity to real vision.

US senator Elizabeth Warren demands jail the banksters

Elizabeth Warren US senator ( image from Washington times)

Elizabeth Warren US senator ( image from Washington times)

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/9/elizabeth-warren-demands-jail-time-wall-st-bankers/

The Ukrainian upheaval: Some geopolitical perspectives

The Ukraine is becoming a complex and fast moving conflict with multiple factions having multiple agendas.

For the latest updates: https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPR

It seems that this conflict started as a proxy war between Russia/CIS  vs  EU/US, but additional home-grown factions soon saw their chance to enter the power vacuum. The Crimea has talked of independence so what you have is at least four factions.

Some might argue Russia is simply suffering from a bruised ego, but the conflict goes deeper than this. The former USSR states are attempting to for a new USSR called the CIS, a copy of the EU incorporating many of the former USSR states.  You might be wondering why Ukraine is so important to Russia and the CIS in this plan. The answer is of course petrochemicals, not oil per se this time, but rather gas pipelines.

The Gas

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The Ukraine is strategically important have the majority of Russian gas pipelines to Europe, Without the Ukraine Russia has only one pipeline going  through  Belarus to deliver is gas to Europe. Giving Belarus a monopoly on gas delivery to Europe would make Belarus far too powerful for Russia’s liking, and far too powerful in a proposed CIS.

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Russia is of course building other pipe lines to be less dependent on the Ukraine and Belarus, but these are massive projects and take significant time and resources to complete.

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The gas deals are of course very controversial, Yukanovych and Tymoshenko were both implicated in dirty deals and skimming money off gas deals with Russia, and most recently (2010) the controversial Ukrainian decision to allow Russian to keep its black sea fleet in port of Sevastapol, on the Crimean peninsula until 2042.

The Crimea

Crimea has wanted Independence from both Russia and the Ukraine for at least a decade. The Crimean Economy is largely based on the two navies stationed there, (the Ukrainian and Russian) the industries that support the Navies.  Tourism Is economically significant being a temperate ( and Russian speaking)  beach side resort for many people of the CIS. The Crimean does not want to risk bad relations with Russia and the CIS, as the tourism money would disappear.

While Russia has other land that borders the Black sea, they have had their navy stationed In Sevastopol since 1783, briefly forced out by the Germans in WW2, so naturally feel they belong there. Sevastapol is part of the Ukraine so the Ukrainian navy feel it should belong there. As a deep water port the Crimean has some interesting advantages, because of its island/peninsula arrangement the Navy can quite easily surround and defend its port from land based attack, This makes it a natural stronghold, not something any navy would want to give up. The black sea flows through the Dardanelles past Gallipoli (which we all should know about) into the Mediterranean (of importance to the EU) and then to the rest of the world’s oceans.

This of course leads to somewhat strange situation of two navies both being stationed in the same place, almost a naval cold war.

So what this is about is the politics of the middle man.

For the Gas pipelines Ukraine and particularly Kiev are able to set the price (and quantity) of Russian gas entering the EU. Controlling this flow of energy and money between two powerful economic blocs makes for significant political power and significant risk of corruption.

For whoever controls the Crimea and Sevastopol controls the black sea and its ability to deploy naval and military force in the region. Controlling a geopolitically significant deep water seaport is an extremely powerful tool in diplomacy. Russia wants to build a gas pipeline under the black sea so will need to control the black sea to assure the project and hardly want the additional expense of building a new naval port as well.

An independent Crimea would be unlikely to create a naval fleet of its own and would likely take the highest bid to station any interested party, which could be almost anyone, Turkey, US, EU, Iran… This could become a geopolitical lottery, or just Russian Roulette.

It’s not easy being an honest middle man.

Ukraine: violent clashes, revolution likely

ukraine ustream channel pic

Links to live stream channels.

http://channel9000.net/euromajdan2/

Some English commentary from:

http://channel9000.net/spilno3/

protesters defeat armoured personnel carrier

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6Eaqfi6gZg

protesters using guns and attacking riot cops

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=34e_1392746107#qMxuguTeJ7T5irHc.99

Ukraine pro democracy protest

ukraine protst 2

ukraine protest 1

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On the day Victorian government was debating laws to effectively criminalize protest , protestors for Ukraine democracy met at the exact place where Robert Doyle’s Melbourne City Council brutally crushed a democracy Movement called Occupy Melbourne.

This may actually be Victoria’s last protest where protest is legal.

Yet another irony is the Ukrainian situation protest was also made illegal recently.

So I’m sure we’d love for you to have democracy Ukraine, but we don’t have it our selves.

Playing Kiev Chicken: Ukraine poised for revolution

After anti protest laws were enacted already alarmed and protesting citizens stepped up their resistance to the increasingly authoritarian out of touch government.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2014/01/ukraine-president-calls-calm-amid-clashes-201412016214424945.html

Government has made illegal; shields, armor, helmets and gas masks for protests.

This all makes occupy look very sedate, Afghanistan veterans, barricades, guards with bats and people flouting the new ‘no armor’ laws dressed in medieval style protection, some even getting actual medieval helmets.

ukraine_protest_sign_contentfullwidthHacktivists have shut down many government websites

Ethnolingusitic_map_of_ukraineOne of the possible futures for Ukraine is a breakup into two or more states based on ethnic/linguistic lines.

AC8I7747_aShields: aluminum cladding (?), borrowed from police, 44 gallon drum, reinforced sign, plywood.

Recent laws made gas masks illegal, so all the more reason to wear one.

024838-562ee988-824c-11e3-993a-e0590e98e9fbThis guy really does not care if you know where money comes from or not, it’s beyond that for now.

ukraine-14Hey Molotov, look at those poor policemen, they have been standing in the cold for hours with no Vodka,

throw them one of your cocktails, here I’ll light it so they can see it coming.

Protesters try to break through police lines near the presidential administration building during a rally held by supporters of EU integration in KievDimitri, this not in police manual.

http://occupymelbourne.net/2014/02/21/ukraine-protesters-shot-oligarchs-flee/

http://occupymelbourne.net/2013/12/02/ukraine-unrest-soars/

Occupy Christmas 2013

The Free Kitchen musketeers in full swing, bread knives in all colours. And we even erected our own Christmas tree!

ombreadmusks

Million Mask March November 5th State library

MMMNov5 chalking

21st October 2011

US Federal government closed: 1800-FUCKYO

Obama closes federal government without an approved budget laving the contact number for his Obama care program1800 FUCKYO

Obama closes federal government without an approved budget laving the contact number for his Obama care program1800 FUCKYO

Countdown to martial law begins…

 

Syria then and now: an anecdote.

A park near the four seasons Hotel in Damascus, Syria.

A park near the four seasons Hotel in Damascus, Syria.

I had an old friend who worked in the oil industry, sometime around 2008 he told me he was going to Syria to do some oil related work.

Clearly I was concerned for his safety, he was a little concerned but he was assured he would be safe by his employers and the money they were offering was good.

After his trip I was relieved to hear from him and heard his experience there.

He told me it was very safe, there was no crime or danger to himself. Of course an oil industry worker is going to be treated well, but it’s difficult to rose tint the experience that much.

Apart from the language barrier there we no real issues apart from the heat.

But the story that really amazed me was this:

He was walking back to his hotel one night at 10pm and walked past a playground as saw kids playing in a park unsupervised on a the typical kids park thing, swings slides climbing frames and he was very surprised and asked one of his translator hosts.

“Is this is safe and normal?”

The host seemed surprised as to why the scene could be so strange and said;

“Yes this is totally safe and normal”.

My friend thought to himself he would not feel safe in his own neighborhood park in a wealthy city the UK at 10pm, let alone children there.

But times have changed;

now the children of Syria can look forward to civil war, chemical weapons and it seems firing squads and arbitrary execution.

So you can say all you want about Syria under Assad, but at the very least law and order was under control, and now clearly it is not.

Yes this is a true story, maybe not exactly the same park as pictured but definitely a park in Syria no more than 5 years ago.

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