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British tax authorities just out-mafia’d the IRS

British tax authorities just out-mafia’d the IRS.

hm-revenue-customs

A few months ago, I told you about a bold reportpublished within the IRS that absolutely blasted the agency’s mafia tactics.

In its 2013 annual report to Congress, the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate wrote that the IRS shows “disrespect for the law and a disregard for taxpayer rights.”

Further, the report says that the current system “disproportionately burdens those who [make] honest mistakes,” and that “tax requirements have become so confusing and the compliance burden so great that taxpayers are giving up their U.S. citizenship in record numbers.”

We all know the stories. The IRS has nearly infinite power to do whatever it wants, including freezing you out of your own bank account without so much as a phone call, let alone due process.

In the Land of the Free, people think they’re innocent until proven guilty. This is total BS. If you are only suspected of wrongdoing, you can be locked out of your entire savings.

This is an incredible amount of authority to wield.

But the British government has just gone even further.

Buried in its most recent budget package is a curt little paragraph that reads “The Government will modernise and strengthen [the tax agency’s] debt collection powers to recover financial assets from the bank accounts of debtors who owe over £1,000 of tax.”

Read that one more time just to let it sink in.

The British government is setting an absurdly low threshold at £1,000… about $1,650 in back taxes.

And they’re saying that if the tax authorities believe you owe even just a minor tax debt, they will not only FREEZE your assets, they’ll dip into your bank account and TAKE whatever they want.

Judge, jury, and executioner. They get to decide in their sole discretion if you owe them money, and they get to take as much as they want to satisfy the debt.

It’s unbelievable.

I can’t even begin to imagine why any Brit in his/her right mind would continue to hold a substantial amount of savings in UK banks.

You are practically begging for the government to relieve you of your hard-earned savings.

Even if you haven’t done anything wrong, and have paid up everything that you owe, the slightest clerical error could have them plunging their filthy hands into your account.

These issues are worldwide. Whether you’re in the US, UK, France, Cyprus, etc., when governments go bankrupt, these are precisely the sorts of tactics they resort to.

Rational, thinking people need to be aware of this trend. And it behooves absolutely everyone to come up with a plan B. Because at the rate things are going, Plan B may very soon become Plan A.

by Simon Black

Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Sound Money – Podcasts from money experts around the world. | Casey Research

Sound Money – Podcasts from money experts around the world. | Casey Research.

Complete Breakdown of Financial Controls in US Government, Says Austin Fitts

February 23, 2014

Former HUD Assistant Housing Secretary and investment advisor Catherine Austin Fitts reveals her thoughts on the ever-rising debt ceiling… what Obamacare is really about (and that’s not socialized healthcare)… why over $4 trillion missing from federal programs may not be incompetence, but a covert strategy… how to protect yourself from the constant devaluation of the US dollar… and what exactly the Popsicle Index measures and why it matters.

Here are a few excerpts:

“I don’t see Obamacare as something designed to offer healthcare. … I think the question comes down to a bigger one, which is, are we going to create a society where one hundred percent of everything is digitized and under central control?”

“Who is the governance system, and why are they behaving the way they are behaving? What we see is literally a psychopathic effort and intensity—whether it is in the energy area, whether it is in the currency area, whether it is in the food area, whether it is in the healthcare area—to get 100% central control and to use digital means to do it, and the question is why?”

“Well, you have a complete breakdown of internal financial controls in the US government. … You had over $4 trillion of what is called undocumentable adjustments and to this day, [these agencies] have never, as required by law, produced audited financial statements.”

“In my experience, government is not incompetent at all. … Gridlock is a cover story, incompetence is a cover story. There is a plan, you just can’t see what it is.”

Sat, 22 February 2014

Host Andy Duncan speaks to the publisher of the Solari Report and President of Solari Inc, Catherine Austin Fitts.  Topics include quality of life indicator – The Popsicle Index, the selective efficiency of government, the debt ceiling, and investing in gold.


Sound Money – Podcasts from money experts around the world. | Casey Research

Sound Money – Podcasts from money experts around the world. | Casey Research.

Complete Breakdown of Financial Controls in US Government, Says Austin Fitts

February 23, 2014

Former HUD Assistant Housing Secretary and investment advisor Catherine Austin Fitts reveals her thoughts on the ever-rising debt ceiling… what Obamacare is really about (and that’s not socialized healthcare)… why over $4 trillion missing from federal programs may not be incompetence, but a covert strategy… how to protect yourself from the constant devaluation of the US dollar… and what exactly the Popsicle Index measures and why it matters.

Here are a few excerpts:

“I don’t see Obamacare as something designed to offer healthcare. … I think the question comes down to a bigger one, which is, are we going to create a society where one hundred percent of everything is digitized and under central control?”

“Who is the governance system, and why are they behaving the way they are behaving? What we see is literally a psychopathic effort and intensity—whether it is in the energy area, whether it is in the currency area, whether it is in the food area, whether it is in the healthcare area—to get 100% central control and to use digital means to do it, and the question is why?”

“Well, you have a complete breakdown of internal financial controls in the US government. … You had over $4 trillion of what is called undocumentable adjustments and to this day, [these agencies] have never, as required by law, produced audited financial statements.”

“In my experience, government is not incompetent at all. … Gridlock is a cover story, incompetence is a cover story. There is a plan, you just can’t see what it is.”

Sat, 22 February 2014

Host Andy Duncan speaks to the publisher of the Solari Report and President of Solari Inc, Catherine Austin Fitts.  Topics include quality of life indicator – The Popsicle Index, the selective efficiency of government, the debt ceiling, and investing in gold.


» Canadian Mounties Override Civilian Rule to Arbitrarily Ban, Confiscate Firearms Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!

» Canadian Mounties Override Civilian Rule to Arbitrarily Ban, Confiscate Firearms Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!.

RCMP turned thousands of law-abiding Canadian gun owners into criminals overnight

Adan Salazar
Infowars.com
March 5, 2014

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are acting on their own authority to arbitrarily re-classify, ban and ultimately confiscate certain rifles, contemptible actions for which Canadian citizens seemingly have no recourse.

Last Wednesday, the RCMP made good on its past threats and turned tens of thousands of Canadians into criminals overnight when they re-classified the Swiss Arms Classic Green carbine, a Swiss-made rifle featuring military-style characteristics, declaring it “prohibited” even though the model has been sold in Canada since 2000. Until Monday, the Canadian feds hadn’t even offered an amnesty period for gun owners to turn in their newly illegal weapons.

Although the high quality rifles cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000, the Canadian government has made no indication it intends to compensate, purchase or otherwise reimburse gun owners, or gun shops, for their surrendered firearms.

On Friday, after the country’s Public Safety Minister had publicly stated he would “take action” against the assault on law-abiding citizens’ rights, the Mounties again banned another gun, a Canadian version of the CZ 858, which had been specifically modified to meet domestic laws.

Troubling to many Canadians is the RCMP banned these guns without the authority of elected officials. “The elected government of the day had already made it clear it did not want to go this route. The Mounties did it anyway,” Sun News’s Brian Lilley reported.

“It is a dark day when police, not the people’s elected representatives, can suddenly transform thousands of ordinary, law-abiding Canadians into criminals with the stroke of a bureaucratic pen,” writes the Winnipeg Sun’s Lorne Gunter.

As Gunter explains, the High River gun grab of June 2013 set the precedent for mass gun confiscation. Mirroring scenes from the fallout of Hurricane Katrina, Mounties in the wake of a devastating flood “decided arbitrarily to break into the homes of nearly 2,000 law-abiding residents and strip the places of guns because they feared residents’ anger might be turned on police or politicians once the town’s forced evacuation was lifted.”

“The government needs to rein in the Mounties or they will find they’re no longer in control,” Lilly declares. “That means the government not only needs to override the decree from the Mounties, but strip them of any power they have or think they have to do this again.”

One gun shop owner expressed to CBC News that Mounties are disarming citizens to have a monopoly on force. “There is a movement within the RCMP and they don’t like to see guns in the hands of anybody but themselves.”

Canadian gun owners who refuse to relinquish their firearms can face jail time up to three years, Sun News reported.

Of course, the irony of the RCMP’s ban and confiscation is that they are targeting a gun the Swiss government actually entrusts its citizens to arm themselves with, illustrating the Mounties and Canadian government’s draconian disdain for its people’s rights.

 

This article was posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 1:41 pm

» Canadian Mounties Override Civilian Rule to Arbitrarily Ban, Confiscate Firearms Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!

» Canadian Mounties Override Civilian Rule to Arbitrarily Ban, Confiscate Firearms Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!.

RCMP turned thousands of law-abiding Canadian gun owners into criminals overnight

Adan Salazar
Infowars.com
March 5, 2014

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are acting on their own authority to arbitrarily re-classify, ban and ultimately confiscate certain rifles, contemptible actions for which Canadian citizens seemingly have no recourse.

Last Wednesday, the RCMP made good on its past threats and turned tens of thousands of Canadians into criminals overnight when they re-classified the Swiss Arms Classic Green carbine, a Swiss-made rifle featuring military-style characteristics, declaring it “prohibited” even though the model has been sold in Canada since 2000. Until Monday, the Canadian feds hadn’t even offered an amnesty period for gun owners to turn in their newly illegal weapons.

Although the high quality rifles cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000, the Canadian government has made no indication it intends to compensate, purchase or otherwise reimburse gun owners, or gun shops, for their surrendered firearms.

On Friday, after the country’s Public Safety Minister had publicly stated he would “take action” against the assault on law-abiding citizens’ rights, the Mounties again banned another gun, a Canadian version of the CZ 858, which had been specifically modified to meet domestic laws.

Troubling to many Canadians is the RCMP banned these guns without the authority of elected officials. “The elected government of the day had already made it clear it did not want to go this route. The Mounties did it anyway,” Sun News’s Brian Lilley reported.

“It is a dark day when police, not the people’s elected representatives, can suddenly transform thousands of ordinary, law-abiding Canadians into criminals with the stroke of a bureaucratic pen,” writes the Winnipeg Sun’s Lorne Gunter.

As Gunter explains, the High River gun grab of June 2013 set the precedent for mass gun confiscation. Mirroring scenes from the fallout of Hurricane Katrina, Mounties in the wake of a devastating flood “decided arbitrarily to break into the homes of nearly 2,000 law-abiding residents and strip the places of guns because they feared residents’ anger might be turned on police or politicians once the town’s forced evacuation was lifted.”

“The government needs to rein in the Mounties or they will find they’re no longer in control,” Lilly declares. “That means the government not only needs to override the decree from the Mounties, but strip them of any power they have or think they have to do this again.”

One gun shop owner expressed to CBC News that Mounties are disarming citizens to have a monopoly on force. “There is a movement within the RCMP and they don’t like to see guns in the hands of anybody but themselves.”

Canadian gun owners who refuse to relinquish their firearms can face jail time up to three years, Sun News reported.

Of course, the irony of the RCMP’s ban and confiscation is that they are targeting a gun the Swiss government actually entrusts its citizens to arm themselves with, illustrating the Mounties and Canadian government’s draconian disdain for its people’s rights.

 

This article was posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 1:41 pm

charles hugh smith-Why the Periphery Is Crumbling: The Spoils System Is Cracking

charles hugh smith-Why the Periphery Is Crumbling: The Spoils System Is Cracking.

(February 28, 2014)

Instability starts on the periphery and moves into the core.

While it is clear that the instability in periphery nations is arising from dynamics unique to each nation, there is one unifying causal factor: the spoils system in each nation is breaking down.

Every nation-state, from brutal dictatorships to nominal democracies, ultimately depends on a spoils system that provides the various factions, classes, etc., with sufficient material and status benefits to accept the Status Quo arrangement.

The more a regime relies on oppression for its legitimacy (for example, North Korea or Saddam’s Iraq), the greater its vulnerability to erosion in the spoils system, which naturally favor the military and the regime’s Elites.

In broad brush, the spoils available for distribution are the surplus generated by the national economy. In the case of North Korea, this surplus stems from extortion (of donations from other nations), satrapy (free oil from China) and illicit activities (arms sales and counterfeiting). A common source of surplus is oil (Venezuela, Iraq, Iran) or some other desirable commodity.

The vast majority of surpluses outside oil exporting nations have been generated by three factors: cheap energy, rising productivity and the expansion of credit. If we examine periods of rapid expansion and generalized prosperity, we find these three factors were active: cheap energy, rising productivity and ample credit.

Just look at Europe and the U.S. in the 1950s and 60s, Japan in the 1960s and 70s, and China in the 1980s and 90s for examples.

Any reversal in these factors reduces surplus and the spoils being distributed.Sharply higher energy costs crimp profits and cause recessions, stagnating productivity leads to near-zero growth and institutional/state sclerosis and credit contraction leads to recession and the destruction of malinvestments.

Since ruling Elites are by definition constantly picking winners and losers, any Status Quo operated by Elites is systematically malinvesting on a gargantuan scale. This is the ontological imperative of any Elite: skim as much of the national surplus as possible and funnel it to cronies and loyal toadies. The prudent Elites (and imprudent Elites don’t last long–the spoils system is quite Darwinian) set aside enough surplus to distribute as spoils, effectively buying the complicity of key sectors, classes, factions, etc.

Thus the default policy of any ruling Elite is bread and circuses: supply the potentially disruptive masses with food and entertainment, and they’ll continue their grudging support of whatever arrangement is supplying the bread and circuses.

Any mob that appears threatening can be dissipated with a “whiff of grapeshot.”

In the U.S., the spoils system is almost unlimited: corporate welfare for capital, food stamps and SSI disability for the lumpenproletariat, big-bucks jobs as water-carriers for the Elites for technocrats in the State, finance, think tanks, elite universities and Corporate America sectors, a variety of quasi-secure lower-level positions as enforcers, lackeys, apparatchiks and factotums and a smattering of tax subsidies (mortgage interest deduction, etc.) to placate what’s left of the non-state-dependent middle class.

The spoils system is not only the foundation of every Elites’ political legitimacy, it is the thin layer of plaster that covers all the longstanding ethnic, regional, linguistic, religious and political fault lines that run beneath current nation-state arrangements.

As noted in yesterday’s entry Ukraine: A Deep State Analysis, numerous national borders were drawn after World War II (1945) with little regard for historical divisions between various groups or preceding borders.

Entire nations were penciled into existence by Imperial diktat in complete disregard for existing historical groups–Iraq and Syria being just two examples of many.

As long as the stick of repression and the carrot of the spoils system were sufficiently persuasive, the tectonic plates beneath the regime were masked. But once the spoils system and the machinery of suppression crack, the old rivalries arise anew.

The spoils system can crack for two reasons: either the national surplus declines so there simply isn’t enough spoils left to keep everyone placated, or the spoils diversion to the Elites and their cronies exceeds the tipping point of legitimacy.

Greece and Venezuela are examples of the first dynamic, and Ukraine is an example of the second dynamic. Greece essentially funded its vast spoils distribution system with borrowed money. When the regime’s free-money machine finally broke, the spoils system crashed along with the legitimacy of the Status Quo.

Venezuela is suffering a similar crash, based not on a withdrawal of credit but on the current Elites’ destruction of the nation’s oil industry and what was left of its productive private economy.

In Ukraine, the plundering of the national surplus by oligarchic Elites finally exceeded the populace’s threshold of legitimacy, and once the armed forces and police refused to murder their cousins, brothers, nieces and nephews in the streets, the Status Quo arrangement collapsed.

Now that the spoils system has crumbled, all the historical tectonics and fault lines are emerging in full force. the same can be said of Iraq and many other inherently unstable nation-states/regimes.

Why is the periphery crumbling? It’s simple: the conditions that enabled rising national surpluses and the distribution of spoils is breaking down for three reasons:

1. Energy is no longer cheap (compared to past prices)

2. The low-hanging fruit of higher productivity has all been plucked

3. The free-money flood of cheap, limitless credit is drying up

As regimes find surplus and credit are both contracting, their ability to placate every key group with spoils is also declining, and the conflicts between them can no longer be patched over with bribery or brutality.

Instability starts on the periphery and moves into the core. I have covered this in depth a number of times:

Instability Start on the Margins (October 31, 2013)

The Core-Periphery Model (June 11, 2013)

EU Leaders Throw Europe a Plutonium Life Preserver (October 27, 2011)

Everywhere, the instability from a failing spoils system is seeping from the periphery into the core: the E.U., the U.S., China and India. Two Powder Kegs Ready to Blow: China & India (January 23, 2014)

This erosion of the spoils system has a peculiar characteristic: once the old spoils system cracks and collapses, it cannot be put back together. A new arrangement arises, despite the best self-serving efforts of the current Elites.

1946 Archive Film Proves Despotism Has Taken over America | Truthstream Media

1946 Archive Film Proves Despotism Has Taken over America | Truthstream Media.

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image_pdfimage_print

(Truthstream Media.com)

The Declaration of Independence boldly states:

“When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Thomas Jefferson, writing on behalf of the independent-minded colonists in 1776, backed up the Declaration’s conclusion with numerous examples of British tyranny, stating: “To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

Compare them to the United States and global system we live under today.

Are we now free? Examine the balance of power between individuals, endowed with natural rights by God, and government, Constitutionally bound to only limited powers, as well as the leading corporations of the private sector.

A 1946 national archive film released by Encyclopedia Britannica titled “Despotism” outlines several yardsticks for measuring the balance of power of a free society and that of an outright a despotism, according to scales of respect, power, economic distribution and information. Concentrated power and wealth, centralized information and monopolistic or oligopolistic control in any one of these areas tends to negatively affect the others, and renders freedom a mere illusion.

“Look beyond fine words and noble phrases,” the analyst in the archive film warns. The rhetoric of freedom in America or anywhere else on planet Earth is irrelevant if the power, wealth and opportunity resides in the hands of just a few, or worse a single entity. By any yardstick, society today is very far gone; the once free United States of America is far down the path of dictatorship, though it keeps wrapped in the stars and stripes of the flag and the lofty words of its founding ideals.

Now what? It is the duty of free people to seek and demand a better society once again.

Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton

Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton created Truthstream Media.com as an outlet to examine the news, uncover the deceptions, pierce through the fabric of illusions, know the real enemy, unshackle from the system, and begin to imagine the path towards taking back our lives, one step at a time, so that one day we might truly be free…

Caracas Is Burning As Maduro Warned May Face Military Coup | Zero Hedge

Caracas Is Burning As Maduro Warned May Face Military Coup | Zero Hedge.

With all eyes focused on Ukraine, the situation in Venezuela has once again escalated as protest leader Leopoldo Lopez’ arrest (and possible 10 year jail sentence) prompted more violence overnight. However, as we warned, the government crackdown is starting to raise concerns about the stability of the government.

  • *VENEZUELA PROTESTS ESCALATING INTO NATIONWIDE UNREST: IHS
  • *ESCALATION OF PROTESTS PUTS STABILITY OF GOVT AT RISK: IHS
  • *RISING VIOLENCE COULD LEAD TO MADURO OUSTER BY MILITARY: IHS

As opposition leader Capriles asks Venezuela’s military to uphold the constitution, he exclaims that “the poor’ must participate for government to change.

  • *VENEZUELA HATILLO MAYOR DAVID SMOLANSKY SPEAKS IN CARACAS
  • *VENEZUELA PEOPLE WON’T STAY QUIET: SMOLANSKY
  • *SMOLANSKY SAYS VENEZUELA SUFFERED TERROR LAST NIGHT
  • *SMOLANSKY CALLS FOR MASSIVE VENEZUELA PROTESTS SATURDAY

The opposition leader speaks:

  • *VENEZUELA OFFICIALS SHOT AT PROTESTERS YDAY: CAPRILES
  • *VENEZUELA ARMED FORCES SHOULD ALLOW PEACEFUL MARCHES: SMOLANSKY
  • *VENEZUELA STRENGTHENING TIES WITH CUBA, RAMIREZ SAYS
  • *VENEZUELA GOVT USING VIOLENCE TO HIDE ECO PROBLEMS: CAPRILES
  • *CAPRILES SAYS SOME IN VENEZUELA GOVT WANT MADURO OUT
  • *CAPRILES ASKS VENEZUELA ARMED FORCES TO UPHOLD CONSTITUTION
  • *VENEZUELA POOR MUST PARTICIPATE FOR GOVT TO CHANGE: CAPRILES
  • *CAPRILES SAYS HE WON’T BE FORCED TO TALK TO VENEZUELA GOVT

And IHS warns:

  • *VENEZUELA PROTESTS ESCALATING INTO NATIONWIDE UNREST: IHS
  • *ESCALATION OF PROTESTS PUTS STABILITY OF GOVT AT RISK: IHS
  • *RISING VIOLENCE COULD LEAD TO MADURO OUSTER BY MILITARY: IHS

Images from last night suggest this is getting considerably worse…despite Maduro’s claims of “absolute calm”

and of course the terrible death of a former Miss Venezuela…

It Begins: Ukraine Army Given Power To Use Weapons On Civilians – Live Feed | Zero Hedge

It Begins: Ukraine Army Given Power To Use Weapons On Civilians – Live Feed | Zero Hedge.

Just as we warned earlier, the stealing of the weapons cache and labeling of the break-away region as having undertaken “terrorist acts” has led to the military getting involved:

  • *UKRAINE ARMY GIVEN POWER TO CHECK CIVILIAN VEHICLES
  • *UKRAINE ARMY GIVEN POWER TO USE WEAPONS ON UKRAINIANS: MINISTRY

Under the “anti-terrorist” operation, Ukraine is a close to civil war as it has been so far. As Martin Armstrong concludes: “there is no peaceful resolution” no matter how many sanctions and condemnations the West makes.

Live Feed:

Below is the Google-translated Government Statement which was posted on the Ministry of Defense website moments ago:

In connection with the decision to commence in Ukraine antiterrorist operation Ministry of Defense of Ukraine official statement:

According to Article 5 of the Law of Ukraine “On combating terrorism” Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, bodies of military management, formations and units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to protect against terrorist attacks facilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, firearms, ammunition, explosives and poisonous substances that are in the army or stored in designated areas.

Under section 15 of the Act, in the area of ??counter-terrorist operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have the right to:

– use in accordance with the laws of Ukraine weapons and special means;

– apprehend and deliver to the internal affairs of persons who commit or committing an offense or other action;

– check of the citizens and officials of documents , identification, and in the absence of documents – to detain them for identification;

– to carry out in the area of counter-terrorism operation personal care nationals review things that are in them, vehicles and things that they carried;

– Provisionally restrict or prohibit the movement of vehicles and pedestrians on streets and roads.

Measures provided for in this Article shall comply with the applicable law and terminate immediately after the anti-terrorist operation.

Coordination of activities of entities involved in the fight against terrorism has antiterrorist center of the Security Service of Ukraine.Those involved in the fight against terrorism, are under state protection.

Disobedience or resistance to lawful demands of military officials who take part in anti-terrorist operations, incur liability as provided by law.

The main purpose of the anti-terrorist operation – stop extremism and illegal actions of radical groups that threaten the lives of millions of Ukrainian, to protect civilians, prevent civil war in Ukraine.

And as a reminder from Martin Armstrong – There Is No Peaceful Resolution

Russia wants to portray this as a coup organized by the USA, Europe wants to portray this as Ukraine wanted them, and the USA media spins this as US against RUSSIA.

This began as a movement against CORRUPTION and not a Europe v Russia confrontation. The more it has played out, then this has also developed into a fight for freedom. The Russian side of Ukraine is the East and south and they speak Russian. The West speak Ukrainian so there are even two languages spoken.

The Russian side has very strong RIGHT WING elements and they are anti-gay and want 7 years in prison for a girl who gets an abortion. So there is now a religious fever being thrown into the fire.

BY ABSOLUTELY NO MEANS did this begin merely over the refusal to join Europe. The corruption in Ukraine is massive. Much of the bureaucracy is buried still in communism with no rational explanation. Under communism, the state-owned everything. Therefore, your “papers” were a form of domestic passport not good for international travel. Inside that passport you had to have your PERMANENT address assigned to you by government since you were not allowed to move. To this day, although communism collapsed and you can move, your passport must still have your “official” address. If you want to move, it will take months to get a new passport and you have to pay a bribe to get it expedited that may still be 2 months. The law forced you to return to change any document. You cannot do anything on-line.

The bureaucracy has never been reformed. There is no law saying you need an address anymore, yet nobody can change anything because it is as if there is nobody really in charge. It is a chaotic mess. The police were extorting people like the Mafia, so this began as all other protests – against corruption. Simple as that. The mainstream media is playing to the propaganda on both sides.

It appears that civil war will erupt for the younger generation want their freedom. Russia will not allow that to happen for this is a strategic former possession that was once part of Russia and Kiev was the former capital of Russia  before Moscow. This is likely to fester and grow. There is no peaceful resolution.

Dispute Over The Future Of Basic Research In Canada

Dispute Over The Future Of Basic Research In Canada.

By KAREN BIRCHARD and JENNIFER LEWINGTON | THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATIONFEB. 16, 2014

CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island — Canada’s National Research Council is the country’s premier scientific institution, helping to produce such inventions as the pacemaker and the robotic arm used on the American space shuttle. But last year, its mission changed.

The Canadian government announced a transformation of the 98-year-old agency, formerly focused largely on basic research, into a one-stop “concierge service” to bolster technological innovation by industry — historically weak — and generate high-quality jobs.

This has set off a dispute over the future of Canada’s capacity to carry out fundamental research, with university scientists and academic organizations uncharacteristically vocal about the government’s blunt preference for commercially applicable science.

“We are not sure the government appreciates the role that basic research plays,” said Kenneth Ragan, a McGill University physicist and president of the Canadian Association of Physicists: “The real question is, How does it view not-directed, nonindustrial, curiosity-driven blue-sky research? I worry the view is that it is irrelevant at best and that in many cases they actually dislike it.”

The remodeling of the research council is one in a series of policy changes that have generated fierce pushback by Canadian academics in recent years. The Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is also under fire for closing research libraries, shutting down research facilities and restricting when government scientists can speak publicly about their work. Last year the Canadian Association of University Teachers began a national campaign, “Get Science Right,” with town-hall meetings across the country to mobilize public opposition to the policies. Scientists have even taken to the streets of several Canadian cities in protest.

While the transformation of the National Research Council has been criticized, the government as well as some science-policy analysts say that better connecting businesses with research is an important step for Canada.

Having examined models in other countries, the National Research Council chose to streamline its operations to act as “the pivot between the two worlds” of industry and academics, with an eye toward new products and innovations, said Charles Drouin, a spokesman for the council. He said the agency had not moved away from support for fundamental research but wanted to focus such efforts better. “There is basic research, but it is directed, as opposed to undirected as you would find it in universities.”

Another battleground for the future of basic research has been the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, a federal granting agency that serves as the first stop for financing fundamental research by Canadian scientists.

In 2011-12, the latest year for which data are available, the council’s “discovery” grants for fundamental research accounted for 38.4 percent of its budget, down from 50.1 percent in 2001-2. Its “innovation” grants, which encourage the transfer of university-developed technology to industry, rose to 31.4 percent in 2011-12, up from 25.3 percent a decade earlier. (The council also directs part of its roughly $1-billion budget to postdoctoral fellowships and other awards for young researchers.)

“The government has invested proportionately more on the innovation side, where it was seen that we had more challenges,” said Pierre J. Charest, vice president of research grants and scholarships at the government agency. He noted that the council was “on track” to double the number of scientists forming partnerships with industry.

Mr. Charest said criticism about a smaller percentage of funds for discovery grants missed a larger point — that the budget had grown over the past decade to almost $325 million in 2012-13. However, much of that increase comes from a special supplement for a select group of researchers to explore potentially transformative concepts.

One who has felt the pinch is Norman Hüner, an internationally recognized plant biochemist and physiologist at the University of Western Ontario, who holds a prestigious Canada Research Chair in environmental-stress biology. A longtime recipient of discovery grants, he and his research collaborators are exploring a potential breakthrough in the use of photosynthesis to trick plants to grow in suboptimal conditions — relevant research in Mr. Hüner’s view, given concerns about climate change.

But in 2012, after applying for a new grant to continue his research, the professor received $50,000 a year for five years — a sharp drop from the previous award of $132,000 a year over five years. “I was shocked, absolutely,” he recalled. “I am disillusioned beyond words.”

The cut has led to the departures of some senior scientists from his lab. And save for one new postdoctoral student with her own funds, Mr. Hüner is not replenishing his stable of young researchers. At 67, Mr. Hüner now plans to retire several years ahead of schedule.

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Norman Hüner, an environmental scientist, has had his funding reduced by more than half. Dave Chidley

Even those involved in commercialization efforts question the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s new approach.

“If you have ideas that are going to lead to commercialization opportunities, you should absolutely get seed-stage funding,” said James E. Colliander, a mathematician at the University of Toronto. He acknowledged that funding for applied research was “crucially important” but said he was “not sure that the principal vehicle for funding basic research should be the path to get those dollars.” Mr. Colliander has received several major discovery grants and is also involved in an effort to bring to market a web application for large-scale academic exam assessment.

Beyond the changes in the two councils, some wonder if Canadian industry is prepared to step up its role in research innovation. In Canada’s largely foreign-owned industrial sector, research is often carried out at corporate headquarters abroad, while home-grown businesses lack the appetite or budget.

Some liken the federal strategy to pushing on a string.

The current policy appears to be trying to “push” technology from universities to industry, but what is needed to increase the level of innovation is for industry to get better at investing in new ideas and well-qualified researchers, said Arthur Carty, a former science adviser to the prime minister and a former head of the National Research Council. “Companies have to have innovation in their philosophical strategies, and they don’t have it,” said Mr. Carty, now executive director of the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Nanotechnology.

Uncertainty over the response of industry is a common refrain even among those who see merit in the federal strategy.

“Canada has had most of its eggs in the basic-research basket for quite a long time,” said Richard W. Hawkins, Canada research chair in science, technology and innovation policy at the University of Calgary. He has also spent years outside Canada as an adviser to governments and international agencies on innovation policy. “Governments want to invest in science and technology because they think it will lead to growth and innovation,” he said. “Governments all over the world have the same rationale.”

What’s missing in Canada, he said, is a deep understanding about how sectors of the economy could exploit knowledge to diversify and create new industries. “In Canada we know relatively less about our situation than most of our competitor countries,” he said.

But some senior scientists warn of risks to Canada’s higher-education system if pure, scholarly research is perceived as unimportant.

“One of the major contradictions of the Conservative government at the moment is that no one in Canada will question the need to have the best universities in the world,” said Daniel E. Guitton, a professor of neuroscience at McGill University. “Now how do you get them? You’re not going to get them by having people focus on an industry-related problem.”

Science policy analysts say it is too early to judge the impact of the government’s current strategy. But on one point, there is little debate. “To be honest, I’ve not seen this level of advocacy from the scientific community before,” said Paul Dufour, a fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society, and Policy. “That’s new in this country, and I think that’s a healthy thing.”

A version of this article appears in print on February 17, 2014, in The International New York Times.

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