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General News    H4'ed 10/18/16

A U.K. Bank shuts down Russia Today's Bank Account

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Abby Martin on 'Breaking the Set'

From The Guardian:

Russia has angrily accused Britain of trampling on freedom of speech after NatWest said it was closing down the bank accounts of the Kremlin TV channel Russia Today (RT).

Russian MPs, the foreign ministry and human rights officials all condemned the move, and said the UK government was guilty of violating press freedom and of double standards. "Long live freedom of speech!", RT's editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, tweeted sarcastically.

Simonyan said she had received a letter out of the blue from NatWest saying that it was pulling the plug on the broadcaster's accounts from mid-December.

Read the rest here.

Shameful. And The Guardian's piece was hardly objective.

It ran a chatshow hosted by the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, and it lured the veteran US broadcaster Larry King to the channel to make a series of shows. While making marquee signings to boost its mainstream credibility, the channel also ran shows such as The Truthseeker, which claimed "every single terrorist attack in US history was a false flag operation".

During the annexation of Crimea, RT did not report on the Russian soldiers deployed on the peninsula, and complained about "misinformation" from western media outlets, which said that Russian forces were present.

Putin himself later admitted as much, but the channel's skewed coverage of events in Russia's backyard also gained a small but devoted following abroad. It has portrayed Russia's military intervention in Syria as a campaign against terrorists, and reflects Moscow's official position that no civilians have been killed by Russian jets.

I have a little bit of experience with RT. A couple of years ago I was a guest on RT's show "Breaking the Set" with Abby Martin, before it was cancelled.
We taped the show from RT's NYC office while Abby interviewed me from Washington D.C. No Russian addresses were used!
It was an interview of me based on my work as a Georgist and, at that time, the president of the Georgist activist group, Common Ground-NYC (a chapter of Common Ground-USA).
I recall she asked me precisely one question out of a 25-minute interview (later cut by about 5 minutes) that in any way could be construed as Russia-centric, but even then only if you squint real hard while looking through an American flag. She asked me to comment on Karl Marx's comment that "Georgism was the last bastion of Capitalism." I replied that Marx and (Henry) George were part-contemporaries (Marx died a few years before George) who didn't like each other's theories very much (so, so much for RT being accused of having only Marxist-sympathetic guests on its show), and that Georgism was neither "Right nor Left" but supported the Free Market in every way except for the collection of Rent upon the Land (and in its more modern form, natural resources and pollution), which was created by nature and which belongs to all of us equally. It was an attempt to save capitalism from its injustices, both in George's time and our own"
You can see the interview here:

At no time did anyone talk about Russia before taping, during the show, or after. There was nothing in the studio other than the title of the network "Russia Today" at that time, to indicate any connection. It might as well have been the British Broadcasting Corporation for all I knew.

Several of us in the Public Banking and Monetary Reform world have been on RT - Bill Still, Bill Black, and I think Ellen Brown. Still lately has said RT is an arm of Russia, but it's notable that Donald Trump, whom Still supports, wants "to get along with Russia" unlike the neocons currently and projected to be in office.

A couple of days ago Russia pulled out of joint operations with the U.S. in the International Space Station as of 2024. A week before that they pulled out of a long agreement to recycle plutonium in bombs - meaning, they will keep them for that purpose, thank you very much - and the rhetoric on both sides is reaching levels that may be very hard to pull back from, even if we have an Administration that wants to.

Nothing we do, public banking, monetary reform, Georgism, etc., will make a whisker's bit of difference if we escalate to thermo-nuclear (i.e. hydrogen bombs) war with Russia. Paul Craig Roberts, a Russia-expert, has said the current escalation is worse than the cold war because the America leaders are so clueless and so much more confrontational with Russia, more so than any time since the Cuban Missile crisis, and that event, he notes, was with a satellite proxy, not with Russia itself, which we are encircling with nuclear and other weapons in Poland and even the Baltic states.

I'm not even sure we will make it to the next President in office. And Hillary, should she actually get to set foot in the Oval Office, has called Putin the "new Hitler" and vowed more confrontation over what are mostly baseless charges of Ukraine invasions (when Russia was already a paying guest with its own naval port), and the MH-17 plane shootdown when the Dutch report is flawed and inconclusive as to who fired the missile and it was known for a fact that only the Ukraine forces had an operational BUK missile battery at that time, while the in-and-out BUK delivery by Russia strains credibility (this isn't an IKEA dresser you can just turn around and ship back after deciding it doesn't work right, after all). Nobody is asking whether it would have been preferable to turn over Russia's largest naval port, and it's only warm water port, to a bankrupt, Nazi-infused, shifting regime in the midst of a Civil War, rather than keep it in the hands of a stable world power that has mostly responsibly managed large scale weapons almost as long as the U.S. has, and, notably, has never used its nuclear arsenal against anyone, unlike the U.S.

The American Mainstream Media is much more of a propaganda instrument than RT, IMO. It's no wonder Reporters without Borders ranks the U.S. as 41 in Press Freedoms. Russia is ranked way down at 148, but this seems to ignore the heavy influence on press freedom by commercial interests including the fantastically powerful Military Industrial Complex, which makes direct pressure by the government unnecessary. In this case, the propagandists may not just be leading us, and the world, to buy things they don't need, they may be leading us to the end of civilization. You can bank on that.
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Scott Baker Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a former blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:

Scott is a former and current President of Common Ground-NY (, a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of (more...)

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