Russia hysteria in West has become dangerous & an insult to the masses – analyst to RT

russia-hysteria-in-west-has-become-dangerous-amp-an-insult-to-the-masses-analyst-to-rt

18-12-18 08:13:00,

As media organizations and Paris try to link the Yellow Vest rallies to Moscow, analysts tell RT that the demonstrations have nothing to do with Russia, and suggesting otherwise is an insult to the protesters and their cause.

Speaking to RT just one day after leaked messages revealed that a BBC journalist tried to find any trace of Russian involvement in the Yellow Vest protest, political analyst John Wight said the idea that Russia is behind everything happening in the West “is preposterous and it’s also an insult to the masses of the people who are expressing their anger and resistance” in France and elsewhere.

Also on rt.com
‘We didn’t listen to people’: French PM admits mistakes in dealing with Yellow Vest rallies

He went on to explain that the real reason people have hit the streets of France in huge numbers has nothing to do with Russia and everything to do with the French government.

“Policies have left over 8 million people in France living in poverty in 2018, 9 percent unemployment, cuts to pensions, cuts to welfare benefits, and tax cuts for the rich…

That’s got nothing to do with Russia, these people don’t live in Russia, they’re dealing with the real world consequences of their government’s policies.”

Journalist Neil Clark agreed, telling RT that the Yellow Vest protests are “organic” and “grew up in the streets of France.”

Also on rt.com
‘Macron… WHAT?’ French TV channel ‘censors’ photo of Yellow Vest protester’s placard (PHOTOS)

He added that people are simply fed up with President Emmanuel Macron. “These are bread-and-butter issues, people are complaining about tax rises, living standards falling or stagnating, and Russia has nothing to do with it.”

And despite the leaks that implicate that the BBC was out to place blame on Russia, Clark noted that the news outlet is just one small part of a wider media landscape trying to do the exact same thing.

“Yes, we can look at the BBC but I’m pretty sure that every other major news organization in the West is trying to find a Russian angle to this because that’s the narrative.”

It is indeed true that the BBC isn’t the only one pointing the finger at Russia without any basis whatsoever.

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The Stampede Of The Gadarene Swine: US Leaders Allowing Ukraine To Pull Them Into Global War

the-stampede-of-the-gadarene-swine-us-leaders-allowing-ukraine-to-pull-them-into-global-war

18-12-18 07:53:00,

Authored by Martin Sieff via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

George Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel was right – Again: The only thing the human race learns from history is that it learns nothing from history…

In 1914,the British Empire, largest in human history and one of the longest-lasting, charged into World War I to defend “gallant little Belgium” whose King Leopold over the previous 30 years had carried out one of the longest, largest genocides of all time, killing 10 million people in the Congo.

Germany, wealthiest, most prosperous nation in Europe, blundered into the same needless war when feckless Kaiser Wilhelm II causally gave sweeping approval to Austria-Hungary to annihilate the tiny nation of Serbia. Millions of brave and idealistic Russians eagerly volunteered to fight in the war to protect “gallant little Serbia.” Most of them died too. There is no record that any of the Serbian leaders after the war visited any of their mass graves.

Now it is the United States’ turn.

Since the end of the Cold War US policymakers, presidents and their congresses have carried out virtually every stupidity and folly imaginable for any major power. The only one they have so far avoided has been the danger of stumbling into a full scale world war.

However, now, with the escalating and increasingly hysterical US support for the shady and risk-taking junta in Kiev, President Donald Trump risks committing that most dire and unforgivable of all horrors.

Trump today is no more than putty in the hands of his national security adviser John Bolton, one of the masterminds of the catastrophe that was the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Bolton is just like his hero Winston Churchill a century ago during World War I. He always gets his way, always gets the wars and battles he wants and bungles them embarrassingly every time. And like the young Churchill, Bolton never learns, never mellows and he never changes. It is always everybody else’s fault.

Churchill finally did grow and learn. His famous activities of the 1930s were not meant to start a new world war with Germany under the far worse leadership of Adolf Hitler: He wanted to avert such a war.

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The Nobel Peace Prize in Support of War

the-nobel-peace-prize-in-support-of-war

17-12-18 07:47:00,

Published on Dec, 6, 2018 
 Comments 21
The Nobel Peace Prize in Support 
of War

Terje Maloy

On December 10, the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony will be held in Oslo, the capital of Norway. This analysis will try to look at how the prize fits in the bigger picture, but first, some general background is appropriate:
Norway is a member of NATO and has close ties to the United States and Great Britain. The political, economic and bureaucratic elites are firmly integrated in transatlantic networks, a nexus of economic connections, think tanks, international institutions, media and a thousand other ties that bind. They tend to identify with the liberal wing of the empire, (i.e. the Democrats, not the Republicans), but will work with any US administration. The members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee are selected by the Norwegian parliament, and the Committee is nominally independent.
Despite being considered – and where the population considers itself – a ‘peace nation’, there are few countries that have eagerly joined more wars than Norway, from the attack on Yugoslavia in 1999, Afghanistan 2001, the occupation of Iraq, Mali, Libya 2011 and the ongoing occupation of Syria. Norway spends large sums of money supporting the joint Western effort to control the rest of the world through comprador intermediaries in non-governmental organizations.
This analysis will discuss some (overlapping) points about the Nobel Peace Prize:

  1. The prize reinforces certain grand narratives, the most important one being We are the good, and thus have the right to decide the fate of the rest of the world.
  2. It creates symbols for regime change operations. It beatifies modern day ‘good natives’ complaining about cruel treatment and pleading for the West to do something to liberate them (but are often remarkably unable to see Western abuses).
  3. It reinforces general reasons to start wars, by making specific themes very important at the same time they are being used to justify military action.
  4. It reinforces the narrative that enemy fights with illegal and cruel weapons. The focus on chemical weapons, as opposed to napalm or sanctions, is one example.
  5. It sanctifies peace treaties that are more like unilateral surrenders, advantageous to Western imperialism and capitalist interests.

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Ron Paul: The Market Correction Could Make Things “Worse Than 1929”

ron-paul-the-market-correction-could-make-things-8220worse-than-19298221

17-12-18 05:20:00,

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

Former presidential candidate, Dr. Ron Paul says that the current market conditions are ripe for a correction of 50% and Wall Street is vulnerable to depression-like conditions in the next year. 

“It could be worse than 1929,” Dr. Paul said recently in an interview.

Paul said Thursday on CNBC‘s “Futures Now that “Once this volatility shows that we’re not going to resume the bull market, then people are going to rush for the exits.”  Paul added that “it could be worse than 1929.” 

He was referencing the fateful day in October of 1929 when the stock market crashed, and the United States was flung into the Great Depression that lasted ten years. During that year, a worldwide depression was ignited because of the U.S.’s market crash.  The stock market began hemorrhaging and after falling almost 90 percent, sent the U.S. economy crashing a burning.

And of course, no one believes it could happen again. But Dr. Paul is continuously warning against the media’s constant optimism. As well-known Libertarian, Paul has been warning Wall Street that a massive market plunge is inevitable for years. He’s currently projecting a 50 percent decline from current levels as his base case, citing the ongoing U.S.-China trade war as a growing risk factor.

“I’m not optimistic that all of the sudden, you’re going to eliminate the tariff problem. I think that’s here to stay,” he said.

“Tariffs are taxes.”  And these tariffs are a direct tax on the American economy and consumer.

Paul places the blame for the inevitable future crash on the Federal Reserve’s “easy money policies” also known as quantitative easing.  He contended the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing has caused the “biggest bubble in the history of mankind.” And this time, it’s an everything bubble.

Soon, investors will be forced to reconcile a massive expansion of debt and falling productivity and growth with a host of potentially disruptive crises: The advent of government-sponsored cyber-warfare, followed by the collapse of the global dollar-based monetary system. Whereas the last crisis trigger massive devaluations in the real estate and stock markets,

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Brazil: Fascism on the Verge of Power? – Global Research

brazil-fascism-on-the-verge-of-power-8211-global-research

17-12-18 04:55:00,

The extreme right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro won the Brazilian presidential elections on 28 October in the second round with a margin of 11 million votes (all in all about 58 million or 55 per cent) against the candidate of the Workers’ Party (PT) Fernando Haddad with 47 million votes, representing 45 per cent of the vote. Another 40 million Brazilians did not vote or cast empty ballots instead. What is to be expected from the incoming presidency that starts on January 1, 2019? And why did voters turn to the radical right after 13 years of governments led by presidents from the PT plus two years of an interim neoliberal government that came to power via a parliamentary coup?

The spectacular fact is not what is visible at first sight – that the PT candidate Haddad lost – but that the traditional right-wing parties, the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB) and the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), sank into meaninglessness. Their candidates, Meirelles of the PMDB, the traditional party of rural elites and the incumbent president Michel Temer, got 1.2 per cent in the first round of the elections, and Geraldo Alckmin of the PSDB, the party of urban elites and the middle-classes, got 4.8 per cent of the votes.

The PMDB and the PSDB have never been mass parties with a fixed ideology, but rather, elite formations that moulded their ideology from left to right and back again, and all the while exercising a staunch right-wing agenda in practice. Thus, Bolsonaro was able to replace the traditional right by being a member of a nano-sized party, the Partido Social Liberal (PSL), that he had joined only on January 5, 2018.

The PT defended its position as the main opposition party, and as the biggest party bloc in parliament, despite fierce anti-PT propaganda from Bolsonaro and from all other opposition parties. The strongholds of the PT are the regional states in the poor Northeast, where Haddad obtained victories in both rounds and where regional governors from left-wing parties were elected.

Corruption, Crime, Family Values

One basis for the success of Bolsonaro was the anti-corruption movement that had swept the country with massive demonstrations in 2015 and 2016 and which formed the popular basis for the impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff in 2016.

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Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid – Global Research

weaponizing-humanitarian-aid-8211-global-research

17-12-18 02:53:00,

Long ago, US foreign aid programs honored the principle that humanitarian aid should be treated separately from economic and military assistance to governments. Public Law 480 (popularized as “Food for Peace”), which began under President Eisenhower in the 1960s and expanded under President Kennedy, was mainly intended (in Kennedy’s words) to “narrow the gap between abundance here at home and near starvation abroad.” It was a simple and ethical goal, though it applied only to “friendly” countries and therefore had the secondary aim, as Kennedy admitted, to be a barrier against communism.

The original humane goal has now vanished, and the secondary political aim has taken its place. The Trump administration is explicitly using humanitarian aid as another weapon to sanction adversaries. North Korea is the prime example. After decades providing humanitarian aid by private citizens and NGOs, Americans will no longer be able to send or deliver it: the decision includes denial of permission to travel to North Korea to deliver aid. Programs that made perceptible contributions to economic development and health care in North Korea, and built trust, will now be grounded.

The American Friends Service Committee, Nautilus Institute, Mercy Corps, Northwest Medical Teams, and other well-established NGOs are among the affected organizations.

All this in the name of the Trump administration’s policy of “maximum pressure” to force North Korea to take tangible steps toward verifiable denuclearization. The administration justifies the ban as necessary to protect Americans from being taken prisoner and eliminate a source of hard currency for the North Korean regime. But those are excuses; humanitarian aid is a carrot now turned into a stick because Trump’s summit meeting with Kim Jong-un has failed to bring denuclearization any closer to realization and has no interest in an incentives-based engagement strategy.

Keith Luse, executive director of the National Committee on North Korea, a group that supports engagement, points out in a message to members (which includes me) that “a line has been crossed.”

American citizens and NGOs have provided humanitarian assistance to that country for decades. Whether motivated by a faith-based perspective—or out of a compassionate nature—all have been committed to saving the lives of the neediest of North Korea’s citizens, including children, the elderly and pregnant mothers. Thousands of North Koreans neglected by their own government,

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A Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Refused to Sign a Pro-Israel Oath, Now Mandatory in Many States — So She Lost Her Job

a-texas-elementary-school-speech-pathologist-refused-to-sign-a-pro-israel-oath-now-mandatory-in-many-states-so-she-lost-her-job

17-12-18 01:24:00,

A children’s speech pathologist who has worked for the last nine years with developmentally disabled, autistic, and speech-impaired elementary school students in Austin, Texas, has been told she can no longer work with the public school district after she refused to sign an oath vowing that she “does not” and “will not” engage in a boycott of Israel or “otherwise tak[e] any action that is intended to inflict economic harm” on that foreign nation. A lawsuit on her behalf was filed early Monday morning in a federal court in the Western District of Texas alleging a violation of her First Amendment right of free speech.

The child language specialist, Bahia Amawi, is a U.S. citizen who received a master’s degree in speech pathology in 1999 and, since then, has specialized in evaluations for young children with language difficulties (see video below). Amawi was born in Austria and has lived in the U.S. for the last 30 years, fluently speaks three languages (English, German, and Arabic), and has four U.S.-born American children of her own.

Amawi began working in 2009 on a contract basis with the Pflugerville Independent School District, which includes Austin, to provide assessments and support for school children from the county’s growing Arabic-speaking immigrant community. The children with whom she has worked span the ages of 3 to 11. Ever since her work for the school district began in 2009, her contract was renewed each year with no controversy or problem.

But this year, all of that changed. On August 13, the school district once again offered to extend her contract for another year by sending her essentially the same contract and set of certifications she has received and signed at the end of each year since 2009.

She was prepared to sign her contract renewal until she noticed one new, and extremely significant, addition: a certification she was required to sign pledging that she “does not currently boycott Israel,” that she “will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract,” and that she shall refrain from any action “that is intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with Israel, or with a person or entity doing business in Israeli or in an Israel-controlled territory.”

The language of the affirmation Amawi was told she must sign reads like Orwellian — or McCarthyite — self-parody,

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The Facade of Yemen Talks | New Eastern Outlook

the-facade-of-yemen-talks-new-eastern-outlook

17-12-18 01:23:00,

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Despite all the positivity that one can extract from the first ever face-to-face bi-lateral talks between Yemen’s warring parties, the ceasefire agreements reached, and the reported ‘progress’ on peace and prison swap made, there is little hope that peace would eventually triumph. While this may sound ‘pessimistic’, there are multiple reasons for this, and the most important reason for this is that the critical issues remain unresolved and the warring parties continue to have massively divergent views on resolving those issues. On top of it is also the fact that the US war machine is going to continue to support (by selling weapons) the Saudia led coalition in Yemen, which means that Saudi Arabia wouldn’t really be worried about bringing a quick or a negotiated end to the war, although engaging in talks would allow it to demonstrate its ‘commitment’ to peace in the region.

Two developments indicate very strongly that peace has very little change in these talks. First, the US has reaffirmed its continued support to Saudia. Second, the US had also made it clear that war wouldn’t really end unless the ‘Iranian threat’ from Yemen is completely rooted out. In this context, the ceasefire or prisoner swap agreement stand little to no chance of bringing peace.

As such, while Saudi Arabia and the US have been unable to push back Iran from Syria, they seem determined to outmanoeuvre it in Yemen; hence, the high improbability of achieving peace in Yemen. It appears that both the Khashoggi murder and the indiscriminate killing of thousands of civilians haven’t really moved the US administration towards really ending their support for Saudia’s war.

“Obviously there are pressures in our system … to either withdraw from the conflict or discontinue our support of the coalition, which we are strongly opposed to on the administration side,” Timothy Lenderking, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for Arabian Gulf affairs, said at a security forum in the United Arab Emirates. But he also made it clear that peace in Yemen wouldn’t be possible unless the “Iranian-backed threat to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and vital international economic quarters” is completely rooted out.

And, there is no gainsaying that the US or its key-regional ally,

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Psychoanalysing NATO: Schizophrenia

psychoanalysing-nato-schizophrenia

17-12-18 09:14:00,

Psychoanalysing NATO: Schizophrenia

NATO sorrowfully explains its problems with Russia on its official website:

For more than two decades, NATO has worked to build a partnership with Russia, developing dialogue and practical cooperation in areas of common interest. Cooperation has been suspended since 2014 in response to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine but political and military channels of communication remain open. Concerns about Russia’s continued destabilising pattern of military activities and aggressive rhetoric go well beyond Ukraine.

None of this – of course – is NATO’s fault: on the contrary NATO is concerned that

Russia’s military activities, particularly along NATO’s borders, have increased and its behaviour continues to make the Euro-Atlantic security environment less stable and predictable, in particular its practice of calling snap exercises, deploying near NATO borders, conducting large-scale training and exercises and violating Allied airspace.

Suffice it to say that this statement would have a closer relationship with reality if the words “NATO’s borders” were replaced with “inside Russia”. And I would be interested to hear the details of “violating Allied airspace”. Why even the Daily Telegraph in 2015 with its suggestive headline of Mapped: Just how many incursions into Nato airspace has Russian military made? had to admit “The Ministry of Defence says the Russian bombers have never violated Britain’s sovereign airspace, which extends 12 nautical miles from the coast.” Likewise Violated US Airspace 16 Times In Last 10 Days turns out to be Air Defence Identification Zones which is not the same thing at all. Or Most Russian Plane Intercepts over Baltics Due to Error: NATO General. So NATO’s statement needs a further calibration so that “violating Allied airspace” becomes “flying in international airspace close to Allied countries’ airspace”.

Therefore, properly understood, NATO accuses Russia of 1) holding military exercises in its own territory, 2) flying in international airspace, 3) supporting secessionist movements in places that weren’t part of Yugoslavia or aren’t in the Middle East or North Africa. And they accuse it of invading countries that NATO didn’t invade first. NATO projects its behaviourgaslights its audience and confirms its initial assumption when Moscow objects. But that’s NATOLand for you – the unicorns roam free and all is sunny until the bear smiles.

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Amazon Denies Warehouse Workers’ Request For Air Conditioning As “Robots Can’t Work In Cold Weather”

amazon-denies-warehouse-workers8217-request-for-air-conditioning-as-8220robots-can8217t-work-in-cold-weather8221

17-12-18 09:12:00,

Thanks to the notoriously brutal working conditions at its fulfillment centers, Amazon has become a lighting rod of criticism from the American labor movement and the Democratic Socialists of America, who claim to champion the rights of workers (despite the fact that most of the organization’s members are college students and creative-class workers relying on handouts from their parents to pay their expensive Brooklyn rents). The e-commerce giant even won the dubious distinction of being specifically called out in a bill proposed by Socialist champion Bernie Sanders (his “Stop BEZOS” act).

As investigative reporters on multiple continents have burnished Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ reputation as a ruthless capitalist by exposing some of the company’s more extreme labor abuses, like effectively forcing employees to pee in bottles to avoid taking unpaid bathroom breaks and hiring ambulances to wait outside some of its warehouses to cart away workers suffering from heat stroke.

As the debate about what, exactly, Amazon owes its workers and the municipalities that host its facilities has taken on renewed relevance following the backlash to the generous tax breaks offered by NYC for Amazon to build a new headquarters in Long Island City (the city’s subway is crumbling, but Amazon is getting taxpayer-funded handouts to build a helipad!), more Amazon workers are rising up to protest their brutal working conditions.

Amazon

This month, workers at the Amazon’s MSP1 fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota gathered outside the facility on a cold Friday evening to protest several of these ‘abuses’, including the company’s refusal to accommodate Muslim workers by not providing adequate space and time for prayer as well as its refusal to accommodate workers observing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which this year coincided with the company’s Prime Day sale. 

A Gizmodo story about the protest in Minnesota included an interesting detail about another demonstration at a facility in Staten Island. Workers at the Amazon facility in Staten Island who recently announced their intention to unionize complained about the company’s refusal to install air-conditioning in its sweltering facility.

The reason given by Amazon for refusing to provide the air conditioning? The robots in its facility can’t function optimally in cold weather.

MSP1 is a fairly new and heavily-roboticized factory,

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The Use of False Flags to Increase Power | Armstrong Economics

the-use-of-false-flags-to-increase-power-armstrong-economics

17-12-18 09:07:00,

Historically, Hitler used a very famous event that was the origin of the term false flag” back in 1933 to reinforce his power. The German False flag used by Hitler was known as the Reichstag Fire. Hitler had a problem. He won less than 35% of the vote. The Reichstag Fire was an arson attack on the German parliament in Berlin on February 27th, 1933, one month after Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany. Hitler’s government claimed it was set by Communists because the 1918 German Revolution which installed the Weimar Republic and resulted in the hyperinflation was a Communist movement which even asked the Russian to take Germany.

One man was prosecuted named Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch council Communist, who was simply found near the building. A German court later decided that van der Lubbe had acted alone as was the case with Oswald in the Kennedy Assassination. After the Reichstag Fire, a Decree was passed that the Nazi Party used as evidence that Communists were plotting against the German government. This event was critical in the establishment of Nazi Germany. The very term Reichstag Fire in Germany has been ever since used to refer to false flag actions perpetrated by the government to promote their own interests to gain more power and infuriate the public for retribution that has ALWAYS resulted in the loss of civil rights necessary to catch the conspirators.

There is no doubt that this political tactic has been used countless times to gain more power. The 911 attack on the World Trade Center was known to the government. The people from the previous attack drew pictures of the WTC on the cell walls with airplanes crashing into them at the MCC in New York. The attack on WTC7 collapsed to hide evidence for it was never hit by any plane. Then the Pentagon was conveniently hit in the very room where all the records were that Rumsfeld swore he would investigate the missing billions in the budget. The gained so much power from that event over taxes alone to make it all profitable.

As we look ahead, they desperately need another false flag to escape from the collapsing structure of Socialism. A war will be very convenient to blame so expect this in the not so distant future.

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How Shipping Pollutes as Much as all the Cars in the World but they are Exempt | Armstrong Economics

how-shipping-pollutes-as-much-as-all-the-cars-in-the-world-but-they-are-exempt-armstrong-economics

17-12-18 09:05:00,

COMMENT: Hi Martin,

Happy Holidays. First of all thank-you, you and Socrates are amazing, I have all the wrong instincts as a trader but since I have been following you I have finally turned that around.

Regarding global warming, I only argument I have found effective when trying discussing this topic is: If it was real, then they would do something about the oil tankers and international ships that create more pollution than all of the cars in the world. They even excluded these ships from the Paris accord, showing that its a tax on the people and that they protect the corporations.

“Countries have committed to reducing their

GHG emissions under the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well

below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to

1.5°C. Despite international shipping being excluded from the Paris Agreement”

Global-shipping-Pollution
Best Regards,

JL

REPLY: This is a very good point. I see the same strategy that the Democrats use in taxation. They always claim to tax the rich. They are against any flat tax because the more deductions and exceptions encourage political donations for special treatment. Small business pays and the big business escape provided they donate money.

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Visualizing The West’s Domination Of The Global Arms Market

visualizing-the-west8217s-domination-of-the-global-arms-market

17-12-18 09:03:00,

Overall, arms sales increased in 2017, with total global sales nearing 400 billion dollars, marking a 2.5 percent increase from last year and the third year of continued growth for the industry.

But, as Statista’s Sarah Feldman points out, U.S. arms companies still produce the most weapons worldwide.

Infographic: The West Dominates the Global Arms Market | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

About 57 percent of weapons produced last year came from the United States, according to the Stockholm Peace Research Institute SIPRI.

Russia comes in second, with year-over-year growth in arms production. In 2017, Russia provided the world with 10 percent of arms sales, closely followed by The UK.

Only major arms companies were included in this study. China was excluded due to insufficient data.

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Hertz’s Airport Facial Recognition Program Uses Customer Loyalty Rewards To Change Public Opinion | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

hertzs-airport-facial-recognition-program-uses-customer-loyalty-rewards-to-change-public-opinion-light-on-conspiracies-8211-revealing-the-agenda

17-12-18 09:00:00,

By MassPrivateI

Americans no longer have to worry about the TSA (DHS) using facial recognition to spy on you and your family. Because private corporations and sports stadiums are doing their dirty work for them.

Two days ago, Hertz Global Holdings Inc. revealed their plans to install facial recognition fast lane car rentals at every airport.

Which really should not surprise anyone, because last month I revealed the key to convincing Americans to accept facial recognition is to offer them consumer loyalty rewards and avoiding long lines.

SensibleVision CEO George Brostoff sees customer loyalty rewards as a logical next step in the U.S. And Goode Intelligence Founder Alan Goode, sees a huge potential for biometric customer loyalty programs.  Goode also thinks facial recognition should be used for age verification in self-check out systems.

Hertz and CLEAR’s slogan “The Exit Gate Without The Wait” follows that blueprint to a T. It is also a near carbon copy of DHS’s “platinum spy on your neighbor cam-share club” which attempts to add exclusivity to spying on your neighbors.

A look at Hertz’s “Fast Lane Hertz Powered by CLEAR” webpage reveals their main selling points are customer loyalty rewards and speeding through checkout/check-in lines.

Hertz claims, Gold Plus Rewards members can “save time” and be on their way in less than thirty seconds if they agree to have their faces scanned.

Hertz and CLEAR’s nationwide plan to spy on car renters

A Hertz news release titled “Hertz and CLEAR Partner To Reimagine The Car Rental Experience” reveals their plans to spy on car renters nationwide.

With CLEAR, members enroll once to enjoy frictionless experiences with greater predictability at more than 40 airports and venues nationwide. Now, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® loyalty members who sign up for CLEAR and link their accounts will be able to verify their identity and rental reservation with just a look or tap of their finger. Hertz Fast Lane powered by CLEAR marks the first use of biometrics by a major rental car company, and the first time CLEAR’s trusted identity platform is enabling members to verify their identity using their face instead of showing a physical ID.

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Hungary’s Fidesz Party Blames Socialists, Soros For Violent Street Protests

hungary8217s-fidesz-party-blames-socialists-soros-for-violent-street-protests

17-12-18 08:57:00,

After police arrested dozens of demonstrators who tried to storm the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest earlier this week, the country’s ruling Fidesz Party has blamed socialist lawmakers and liberal billionaire George Soros – whose “Open Society Foundation” was recently driven out of the country by a series of laws penalizing foreign interlopers in Hungarian politics – for stoking civil unrest in response to reforms to labor laws and the country’s judiciary that were recently passed by parliament.

Hungary

Since the laws passed Parliament on Tuesday despite opposition lawmakers’ attempts to stymie the vote with harassment tactics (one lawmaker even blocked the speaker’s podium in an attempt to stop the vote), police in Budapest have struggled to repel large crowds of demonstrators. Some of the protesters have even put on masks despite organizers of the demonstration asking participants not to cover their face.

Police responded to the increasingly violent demonstration with tear gas and defensive tactics after being pelted with eggs, beer cans, and sound grenades, leaving five officers injured. According to News Wars, Socialist Party leader Bertalan Toth is facing fines after trolling Prime Minister Viktor Orban on the floor of parliament. Toth told reporters that he organized the protest action.

MUST WATCH: As the National Assembly of Hungary descends into chaos, opposition MP Bence Tordai rolls up on PM Orban and trolls him to his face. This is unprecedented. Orban is visibly uncomfortable. He was not counting on this. #Hungary pic.twitter.com/C8XCKN9A6G

— Benjamin Novak (@b_novak) December 12, 2018

Fidesz said in a statement that the opposition “made clowns of themselves” by “colluding” with Soros in a desperate attempt to stop the vote.

“The opposition, in a hopeless position, made clowns of themselves in Parliament, acting aggressively and colluding with the Soros organizations that organized violent street protests,” Fidesz said in a statement. “The point of the labor code amendment is to ensure that those who want to work and earn more don’t face bureaucratic obstacles.”

The more controversial of the two laws passed has been nicknamed the “Slave Law” by those who oppose it. It allows employers to circumvent unions and make deals with employees to work up to 400 hours of overtime a year.

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An historical journey into Crimea

an-historical-journey-into-crimea

16-12-18 07:50:00,

We are at the remains of Panticapaeum, the capital of the Kingdom of Bosphorus, founded in the second quarter of the 6th century BC on both sides of the Kerch Strait.

We start our walk on the hilltop of Mithridates, in the heart of modern Kerch, where “terrible” king Mithridates of Pontus (134 – 64 BC) was killed. Greek geographer Strabo (63 BC – 23 AD) said Panticapaeum was the mother country of “all the Milesian cities of Bosphorus”. It was a big city that boasted a convenient harbor and a shipyard.

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As we climb higher, we come across an obelisk celebrating victory in the Great Patriotic War. This is one of the last ridges in eastern Crimea. To the left is Kerch harbor with no warships, only coastguard patrol boats. To the right, the dark blue Sea of Azov, the Kerch strait – now one of the geopolitical hot spots of the young 21st century – and far in the distance is Krimsky Most, the Crimea bridge.

Crossing the bridge – a 19km-long engineering marvel, built in only two years – is as smooth as it gets and takes less than 15 minutes. On the right, work proceeds on the rail bridge, which will be ready next year.

Crimea bridge

The Crimea Bridge. Photo: Asia Times

I cross in the direction of Novorossiysk, then turn back from the Russian mainland. There’s a passport control and customs check, even though Crimea is now Russian territory. Cars and buses are carefully examined; a terror attack is always a concern. The guards are polite: “Welcome to Krym”. I say I was already in Krym. They smile.

Bridge over troubled water

Washington officially insists all Crimea-related sanctions will remain until Moscow returns the peninsula to Ukraine. This will never happen. For Moscow, Crimea is already back to where it belongs. After all, Nikita Khrushchev, a sentimental Ukrainian, had transferred Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 in a fit of proletarian brotherhood, while blatantly violating the Constitution of the USSR.

US neocons and assorted Russophobes insist that Washington should further weaponize Kiev’s land, sea and air forces to counter “Russian aggression”,

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Oliver Stone: American ‘War State’ Has ‘the Worst Media in the World’

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16-12-18 07:48:00,

BEN NORTON: A lot of your work, Oliver, in fact, exposes some of these U.S. crimes. Specifically, you made the documentary series recently, The Untold History of the United States, that looks into many of the same subjects. And Mr. Blum, one of his most famous quotes was: “If I were the president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States in a few days permanently.” And then he also said: “I would apologize very publicly and very sincerely to all the widows and orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, and all of the many millions of other victims of American imperialism.” And you were one of the only filmmakers, I think, who has a large platform who is also committed to speaking about the victims of American imperialism. Why aren’t there more filmmakers doing the kind of work you do, and how can others try to contribute to that effort?

OLIVER STONE: I could not do what you say I do. I mean, it’s just–you’re talking about a full-time documentarian who would follow the empire, of the crimes of empire. This is not what I’ve tried to do. I tried to–I’ve made films, first of all. I’m doing dramatic films, so I cannot follow up stories the way Bill Blum can. What I have done is Untold History of the United States, which was an enormous documentary. It took … 12 hours long. We did it for Showtime, which was very hard to get done. We spent quite a bit of money. And we were able to get it on the air, and it still plays on Netflix and it’s available. I’m very proud of that.

But what it was was looking to 1898 to 2013, fom the Spanish American War, basically McKinley to Mr. Obama. What we tried to do is condense in one hour shows, and quick, exciting, well done, filmic qualities–using a lot of movies, too, the essence of each era–what America was up to. We covered quite a lot of ground. We showed it to all the progressive historians, from Howard Zinn to Bill, and we had tremendous reviews on it. Tremendous reviews. All from progressive historians. The mainstream media ignored it, truly ignored it. It was quite surprising, but it’s the way things go.

So you know,

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5G Corporate Grail | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

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16-12-18 05:28:00,

Smart cities/dumb people?
Joyce Nelson

November 5, 2018

Photo by Alan Levine CC, cropped from original

There’s a lot of hype about 5G, the fifth-generation wireless technology that is being rolled out in various “5G test beds” in major cities including Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, New York, and Los Angeles. But it’s hard to see why we should be excited. Proponents talk about the facilitation of driverless vehicles and car-to-car “talk,” better Virtual Reality equipment, and, of course, “The Internet of Things” (IoT) – the holy grail of Big Tech that is just vague enough to sound sort of promising.

But when it comes to specifics, there seems to be a lot of hot air in the IoT bag.

For example, in March 2018, Canada’s Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, while pumping $400 million into 5G test beds, reportedly “gushed” about IoT applications, including “refrigerators that monitor food levels and automatically order fresh groceries.”

Then there is the 5G proponent who enthused to CBC News (March 19, 2018) about “augmented reality headsets” being replaced by “a pair of normal looking glasses,” which everyone would be wearing in 10 years. Those glasses would “automatically recognize everyone you meet, and possibly be able to overlay their name in your field of vision, along with a link to their online profile.”

Apparently, the future human will be too brain-addled to make a grocery list or remember the names of acquaintances… which may not be the image that 5G proponents are hoping for.

“There are thousands of published studies that show that even low levels of microwave radiation do cause a biological effect.”

Amidst all the 5G hype, it’s rare to find a blunt statement like this one from Eluxe Magazine’s Jody McCutcheon: “Until now mobile broadband networks have been designed to meet the needs of people. But 5G has been created with machines’ needs in mind, offering low-latency, high-efficiency data transfer…. We humans won’t notice the difference [in data transfer speeds], but it will permit machines to achieve near-seamless communication. Which in itself may open a whole Pandora’s box of trouble for us – and our planet.”

Box of trouble

Many scientists would say that box of trouble has already been opened by earlier wireless technologies,

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The U.K.’s Nuclear Dream Is Now Its Worst Nightmare

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16-12-18 05:27:00,

Thirty years ago it seemed like a dream: now it is a nuclear nightmare. A project presented to the world in the 1990s by the UK government as a £2.85 billion triumph of British engineering, capable of recycling thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel into reusable uranium and plutonium is shutting down – with its role still controversial.

Launched amid fears of future uranium shortages and plans to use the plutonium produced from the plant to feed a generation of fast breeder reactors, the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant, known as THORP, was thought to herald a rapid expansion of the industry.

In the event there were no uranium shortages, fast breeder reactors could not be made to work, and nuclear new build of all kinds stalled. Despite this THORP continued as if nothing had happened, recycling thousands of tons of uranium and producing 56 tons of plutonium that no one wants. The plutonium, once the world’s most valuable commodity, is now classed in Britain as “an asset of zero value.”

Over its lifetime the giant plant at Sellafield in Cumbria, north-west England, has taken spent fuel from eight countries as well as the UK and succeeded in producing a small mountain of plutonium and uranium of which only a tiny fraction has ever been re-used as intended. Instead most has been stockpiled and is now stored under armed guard with no use or purpose in sight.

White elephant

From the start, THORP was lampooned by cartoonists as a balloon in the shape of a great white elephant hovering over the English Lake District. The UK government maintained then − and still insists − that it was a major foreign currency earner, bringing £9 bn (US$11.4 bn today) to the UK over its lifetime.

There is though no publicly available profit and loss account for the plant. (Most of the prices and costs quoted here are those reported by the owners of THORP in their publicity at the time, but the total of foreign currency earnings and some of the 2018 figures below are new ones provided to the Climate News Network).

All that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which runs THORP on behalf of the government,

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No One’s Asking the Right Questions About Police Drones

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16-12-18 05:25:00,

arbitragery / CC BY-SA 2.0

New York Post: NYPD rolling out fleet of crime-fighting drones

The New York Post (12/4/18) assures us that cops promise not to use drones for “unlawful surveillance.”

Police drones are expanding, but are the media asking questions?

The NYPD, the nation’s largest police force, announced this week that they had purchased over a dozen flying robots to fly over Gotham, while promising that the new technology wouldn’t be used for any of the illegal spying shenanigans the police department has been caught up in time and time again. The announcement, however, was awkwardly timed, as the police department had already purchased drones—last December.

Instead of asking the kinds of questions one might expect for a scandal-plagued agency obtaining expansive new surveillance powers—Why did you wait a year to announce the move? Was the public consulted? Are there oversight mechanisms to guard against misuse?—most media outlets questioned nothing, quoted generously from police officials and (at best) sprinkled in few concerns from legal organizations.

ABC 7 News (12/5/18) broadcast live coverage of the NYPD press conference, where its viewers were given front-row seats to police officials providing live demos of the drones, including their thermo-imaging video capabilities. While the scene was eerily reminiscent of parts of Paul Verhoeven’s classic 1987 dystopian satire Robocop, media coverage was more casual than spectacular, as it appeared to try to allay the concerns of the public.

NY1 News (12/4/18) led its coverage of the announcement by describing the ways that drones could be helpful after an accident:

When there’s a major car crash, seconds matter. NYPD highway investigators often race against the clock to reconstruct what happened and to let traffic move again. That includes taking pictures of the entire scene, a time-consuming task, but one made much easier by a drone.

Newsday (12/4/18) reported that NYPD drones would help in “emergency operations,” not “warrantless searches”—according to police.  Fox 5 News (12/4/18) also listed out the various (beneficial) uses of drones—again, according to police. Newsday and Fox at least included reporting on some of the criticism from civil liberties groups.

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Messianic Jewish Lobbying Group Builds Support for U.S.-Funded Ethnic Cleansing Plan in Palestine

messianic-jewish-lobbying-group-builds-support-for-us.-funded-ethnic-cleansing-plan-in-palestine

16-12-18 05:00:00,

A pro-Israel activist group is quietly pushing lawmakers on Capitol Hill and key officials in the White House to embrace a plan that would entail paying Palestinian residents in the West Bank to move abroad. The plan is a bid to reshape the ethnic and religious population of territories controlled by Israel, according to the head of the group, called the Alliance for Israel Advocacy.

If all goes according to the group’s plan, legislation will be released in January, when the new Congress convenes, that will redirect U.S. funds once dedicated to the United Nations for Palestinian humanitarian assistance into a voucher program administered by the Israeli government. A draft summary of the proposal states that the money will help finance the permanent relocation of Palestinians from the West Bank to countries such as Turkey, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, or the United States.

The effort is being championed by the Alliance for Israel Advocacy, a lobbying group formed by the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, a nonprofit that represents Jews who have converted to Christianity but who still practice some Jewish customs. The so-called Messianic Jews broadly share many spiritual beliefs of modern born-again evangelicals.

The Intercept was unable to confirm the Alliance for Israel Advocacy’s accounts of its meetings with Congress and the White House, and the lawmakers whom the group said were considering sponsorship of its legislative effort declined to comment on this story. But Paul Liberman, the executive director of the Alliance for Israel Advocacy, explained the policy plan — and his account of the lobbying push — in an extensive interview with The Intercept.

“If there are any Palestinian residents who wish to leave, we will provide funds for you to leave, with the hopes that over 10 years to change the demography of the West Bank towards an eventual annexation.”

“Our organization advocates, and it’s in our proposed legislation, we say, let’s offer sponsorship if there are any Palestinian residents who wish to leave and go to other countries, we will provide funds for you to leave,” said Liberman. “The only rights the Palestinians have are squatter’s rights,” Liberman continued. “If there are any Palestinian residents who wish to leave, we will provide funds for you to leave, with the hopes that over 10 years to change the demography of the West Bank towards an eventual annexation.”

Liberman said he was inspired by the Bible to build a single Jewish state in what is often called Greater Israel.

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Colonialism: How the British Empire Stole $45 Trillion from India. And Lied About It. – Global Research

colonialism-how-the-british-empire-stole-45-trillion-from-india-and-lied-about-it.-8211-global-research

16-12-18 04:54:00,

There is a story that is commonly told in Britain that the colonisation of India – as horrible as it may have been – was not of any major economic benefit to Britain itself. If anything, the administration of India was a cost to Britain. So the fact that the empire was sustained for so long – the story goes – was a gesture of Britain’s benevolence.

New research by the renowned economist Utsa Patnaik – just published by Columbia University Press – deals a crushing blow to this narrative. Drawing on nearly two centuries of detailed data on tax and trade, Patnaik calculated that Britain drained a total of nearly $45 trillion from India during the period 1765 to 1938.

It’s a staggering sum. For perspective, $45 trillion is 17 times more than the total annual gross domestic product of the United Kingdom today.

How did this come about?

It happened through the trade system. Prior to the colonial period, Britain bought goods like textiles and rice from Indian producers and paid for them in the normal way – mostly with silver – as they did with any other country. But something changed in 1765, shortly after the East India Company took control of the subcontinent and established a monopoly over Indian trade.

Here’s how it worked. The East India Company began collecting taxes in India, and then cleverly used a portion of those revenues (about a third) to fund the purchase of Indian goods for British use. In other words, instead of paying for Indian goods out of their own pocket, British traders acquired them for free, “buying” from peasants and weavers using money that had just been taken from them.

It was a scam – theft on a grand scale. Yet most Indians were unaware of what was going on because the agent who collected the taxes was not the same as the one who showed up to buy their goods. Had it been the same person, they surely would have smelled a rat.

Some of the stolen goods were consumed in Britain, and the rest were re-exported elsewhere. The re-export system allowed Britain to finance a flow of imports from Europe,

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Who Needs Warriors? The Empire Does. US Army Revving Up its Ad Campaigns – Global Research

who-needs-warriors-the-empire-does.-us-army-revving-up-its-ad-campaigns-8211-global-research

16-12-18 04:46:00,

Who Needs Warriors? The Empire Does. US Army Revving Up its Ad Campaigns. “Ultimate Fight” for Country

The US Army, perhaps in need of more ‘boots on the sand’, is revving up its ad campaigns. The latest television ad says it plain and clear: Warriors Wanted!  (see screen shot below) And why not just appeal to the childlike, video game raised young men and women to join up? Then they can get away from having to work a dead end job, or spend years in college studying (at great expense by the way) for uncertain future employment.

Now these low income young kids can serve their country by becoming occupiers of another Arab country that they themselves really don’t understand why they are even IN!

This baby boomer cannot even conceive of how far my nation has regressed culturally. The celebration of violence is rampant! Who would have ever imagined the popularity of what they actually have the nerve to call a sport in Ultimate Fighting? If you have not yet watched one of these (so called) matches, please do; but first sit and watch the gladiator school scene from the 1960 film Spartacus.

US Marines: Ultimate Fighting 

You will see, more or less, just what this newest form of ‘Violence as Sport’ has given us. So, the same young men (and some women) who grew up on violent video games, and then graduated to UFC, make a great source for this new empire’s army of warriors. I am not taking away from the super physical abilities of those who fight in those caged rings, taken right out of Spartacus. Just as with professional boxers and athletes from all sports, these folks are dedicated and train very hard. It is just that to celebrate violence is NOT what we humans are supposed to have evolved out of, and not back into.

When this writer played college football back in the 70s, there were but a few of my teammates who took ‘uppers’ and steroids for better performance. Nowadays, they have to continually drug test all athletes because of the preponderance of new and better forms of these enhancers.

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Das: “The Bubble Is Losing Air. Get Ready For A Crisis”

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16-12-18 04:44:00,

Authored by Satyajit Das,

The shift to tighter monetary policies in the West is weakening credit markets. Over-indebted emerging markets face headwinds from rising borrowing costs and dollar shortages… Investors need to focus on their response to financial stresses in an era in which policymakers will be constrained.

The “everything bubble” is deflating. The fact that it’s happening relatively slowly shouldn’t blind us to the real threat: The world is dangerously underestimating how hard it’ll be to deal with the fallout once it pops.

Frothy markets can’t disguise the warning signs. The shift to tighter monetary policies in the West is putting pressure on global equity and real estate values. Even more critically, it’s weakening credit markets. Over-indebted emerging markets face headwinds from rising borrowing costs and dollar shortages.

At the same time, investors are underestimating how disruptive trade conflicts and sanctions could turn out to be. That’s not to mention rising non-financial risks — from the legal difficulties of the US administration, to the UK’s Brexit debacle, to political instability in France, Germany, Italy and even Saudi Arabia. Uncertainty will impact the real economy, primarily through the wealth effect of declining asset values and a reduced supply of credit.

Investors need to start focusing on how best to respond to a new crisis. The choices are more limited than many realize. Historically, central banks have needed to slash official rates as much as 4-5% in order to offset the effects of a financial crisis or an economic slowdown. That’s why former US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen talked about the need to raise rates in good times — to provide room to cut when necessary.

Yet, even after recent US interest rate hikes, the Fed has nowhere near enough room to cut rates that much without going negative. In Europe and Japan, where rates are already less than zero, easing would require substantially negative levels, which would likely be politically impossible. Even current levels are controversial. Negative rates are a disguised way of writing down debt; they penalize savers and weaken the banking system.

Fiscal policy doesn’t offer much of an alternative.

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Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, December 15, 2018, #175

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16-12-18 09:34:00,

Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, December 15, 2018, #175

Dane Wigington
GeoengineeringWatch.org

No matter how increasingly unnatural our skies become, there is still no official acknowledgment of climate engineering. The National Weather Service last week admitted they had no idea of what they were seeing on their radar screen, is this really the truth? Or are there some in the National Weather Service that are trying to covertly sound the alarm? Exactly how out of control is the military industrial complex? How long has the military industrial complex been selling itself as being a pillar of the “greater good”? The latest installment of Global Alert News is below.

Can a significant percentage of the population break their programmed denial in time to make a difference? Are those who are already awake willing to continue with their efforts to wake those that are still unaware of what is unfolding? We can collectively make a difference, we need only to dedicate ourselves to doing our individual part. Detailed activist instructions can be found on the homepage of GeoengineeringWatch.org, along with our most current awareness raising materials. If we can expose the climate engineering insanity, we can stop it, make your voice heard.
DW

This very compelling 20 second time-lapse video of aerosol spraying in Yosemite National Park was taken on December 12th, 2018. Video footage credit: Chris Falkenstein 

Our sincere thanks to Radovan Dluhy and his students for their efforts to sound the alarm on the geoengineering issue at the Katowice Climate Change Conference (COP 24) that just took place in Katowice, Poland.

This week’s GeoengineeringWatch.org outreach booth is at the Scottish Rite Event Center, San Diego, California, and is shown below. My most sincere and continuing gratitude to the Gem Faire exhibition organizers for facilitating and setting up this very effective booth in every week’s Gem Faire location. The schedule for upcoming Gem Faire events is HERE. A geoengineeringwatch.org booth will be at all events, thanks to the steadfast support of Gem Faire.

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WHAT HAPPENS IF THE FRENCH YELLOW VESTS WIN? | New Eastern Outlook

what-happens-if-the-french-yellow-vests-win-new-eastern-outlook

16-12-18 09:33:00,

What if protesters in Paris win, and the French government gives in to all their demands?

What if taxes are reduced, wages increased, President Macron steps down?

I am not talking only about the fuel tax; attempts to impose it have been already abandoned. I am not talking about increase of the minimum wage – the government already agreed to rise it by 100 euro per month.

What I am talking about are real, fundamental changes which many protesters seem to be desiring: substantial tax reduction for the majority of French citizens, generous increase in wages and enhancement of social benefits for all.

So, if the Yellow Vests manage to win all this, then what will happen? Who would benefit? But also, who would lose?

*

One of my readers recently wrote to me that France should reduce its military budget and from those billions of euro saved, could easily finance demands of the protesters.

Another reader wrote that the richest citizens of France (or call them ‘elites’) should be taxed heavily, and the money saved in this way could be then distributed among the poor and the lower middle class.

Sounds ‘reasonable’? Yes, definitely; reasonable and logical. The only tiny defect is: we all know that it will never happen this way.

President Macron was elevated to the throne by precisely those so-called elites. In return, those rich folks expect their privileges to be guaranteed, even swollen.

And to imagine that a NATO member country (in this case France) would suddenly slash its military budget and from what is saved, start to finance various new social programs for the poor and the middle class, is unrealistic, even childish.

So where will the funds come from, if the French government decides to do something truly ‘radical’; radical at least by the standards of our era of turbo-capitalism: to listen to its own people?

Let me stop beating about the bush and ask my question brutally and concretely: “What if all demands of the Yellow Vests get satisfied; who will pay the bill?”

*

To put all this into a context: I write this essay in Hanoi,

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War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields – Global Research

war-and-natural-gas-the-israeli-invasion-and-gaza8217s-offshore-gas-fields-8211-global-research

15-12-18 07:24:00,

Almost ten years ago, Israel invaded Gaza under “Operation Cast Lead”.

The following article was first published by Global Research in January 2009 at the height of the Israeli bombing and invasion under Operation Cast Lead.

In the wake of the invasion, Palestinian gas fields were de facto confiscated by Israel in derogation of international law.

A year following “Operation Cast Lead”,  Tel Aviv announced the discovery of  the Leviathan natural gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean “off the coast of Israel.”

At the time the gas field was: “ … the most prominent field ever found in the sub-explored area of the Levantine Basin, which covers about 83,000 square kilometres of the eastern Mediterranean region.” (i)

Coupled with Tamar field, in the same location, discovered in 2009, the prospects are for an energy bonanza for Israel, for Houston, Texas based Noble Energy and partners Delek Drilling, Avner Oil Exploration and Ratio Oil Exploration. (See Felicity Arbuthnot, Israel: Gas, Oil and Trouble in the Levant, Global Research, December 30, 2013

The Gazan gas fields are part of the broader Levant assessment area.

What is now unfolding is the integration of these adjoining gas fields including those belonging to Palestine into the orbit of Israel. (see map below).

It should be noted that the entire Eastern Mediterranean coastline extending from Egypt’s Sinai to Syria constitutes an area encompassing large gas as well as oil reserves.

It is important to relate issue of Gaza’s offshore gas reserves to the recent massacres undertaken by IDF forces directed against the People of Palestine who own the offshore gas fields.

Michel Chossudovsky, June 12, 2018

War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields

by Michel Chossudovsky

January 8, 2009

The December 2008 military invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli Forces bears a direct relation to the control and ownership of strategic offshore gas reserves. 

This is a war of conquest. Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline. 

British Gas (BG Group) and its partner, the Athens based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) owned by Lebanon’s Sabbagh and Koury families,

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“War by Other Means” against Russia and China: Washington Pressures EU Nations to Boycott Russia’s Nord Stream II Gas Pipeline – Global Research

8220war-by-other-means8221-against-russia-and-china-washington-pressures-eu-nations-to-boycott-russia8217s-nord-stream-ii-gas-pipeline-8211-global-research

15-12-18 05:12:00,

Make no mistake. Washington is at war with Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and other sovereign independent states – waging cold war at risk of turning hot against any or all of them. US war on Russia rages politically, economically, financially and through illegal sanctions.

The latest body blow came on December 11. US House members unanimously adopted a resolution, calling for the Trump regime to severely penalize EU nations and enterprises participating in Russia’s Nord Stream II gas pipeline project – wanting stiff sanctions imposed under the so-called Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) – targeting Russia, Iran and North Korea.

When completed, Nord Stream II will be the world’s longest underwater pipeline, a major engineering achievement.

It’ll be able to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas from beneath the Baltic Sea, its capacity to be doubled by an additional line, the project scheduled for completion by late 2019 or early 2020.

Russia’s world’s largest natural gas reserves and proximity to other European countries makes it the most logical supplier of their needs.

Nord Stream II will run from Russia’s border, below the Baltic Sea to Germany, crossing Russian and German waters, along with economic zones of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

Five European companies are involved in construction – including France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, along with Royal Dutch Shell. Brussels, including economic powerhouse Germany, strongly supports the project.

The Trump regime lied claiming it’ll undermine European energy security and stability. Polar opposite is true. It’ll be an economic and energy boon for countries benefitting from the project.

Trump regime Russophobes want America replacing Moscow as Europe’s main natural gas supplier, despite an ocean separating both continents, making it advantageous for EU countries to rely heavily on Russia for their LNG needs – impractical and expensive to ship it from the US.

Trump regime hardliners are going all-out to undermine Nord Stream II, intending to impose sanctions on European nations and companies involved in its construction.

Germany is key. Days earlier, its Foreign Minister Heiko Maas defended the project, stressing it makes no sense to abandon it.

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Scientists Will Begin Geo-engineering Experiment and Try to Block the Sun – Global Research

scientists-will-begin-geo-engineering-experiment-and-try-to-block-the-sun-8211-global-research

15-12-18 05:11:00,

Scientists have decided to publically attempt a geoengineering experiment. The researchers from Harvard University are going to attempt to us particles to block out the sun in an attempt to save humanity from global warming, and cool the planet.

According to Popular Mechanics, this incredibly bad-sounding idea seems like it stemmed from an actual event.  In 1991, the volcano Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines, sending millions of tons of ash and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. This layer of particulates actually lowered global temperatures by almost a full degree Fahrenheit for the following two years.

Researchers speculated that by filling the atmosphere with a similar level of particulates that were shot into the sky during the 1991 eruption, while skipping the lava and explosions, they might be able to reduce global temperatures enough to halt or delay some of the more severe consequences of “climate change.” But even the most left-leaning of human beings are not on board with attempting to alter the global climate artificially. After all, isn’t that what the tyrants and political elitists the peons continue to vote for keep telling us was the problem in the first place?  Any small mistake could radically and permanently destroy the delicate ecosystems and global climates for centuries.

In particular, one study published last year found that spraying particulates into the atmosphere around the Gulf of Mexico could trigger droughts in sub-Saharan Africa. But scientists are attempting to assure everyone that their test won’t have any major effect on the climate.

The test allegedly consists of a high-altitude balloon that will fly several miles into the atmosphere and release less than a pound of calcium carbonate (a less harmful alternative to the sulfur dioxide produced by volcanoes) and then spend about a day flying through the resulting cloud to measure its effects. The purpose of this test is to figure out exactly how the substance behaves in our air so scientists can build more accurate simulations.

Of course, others have gathered a wealth of evidence suggesting that climate manipulation is already occurring right under our noses. Dane Wigington has an entire website titled GeoengineeringWatch.org in which he publishes all of the evidence he’s collected proving that governments have been manipulated the weather for a long time. 

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US Demands Europe Join Its War Against Russia

us-demands-europe-join-its-war-against-russia

15-12-18 04:38:00,

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In recent decades, the US Constitution’s clause that requires a congressional declaration of war before invading any country, has been ignored. Furthermore, ever since 2012 and the passage by Congress of the Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russia, economic sanctions by the US Government have been imposed against any company that fails to comply with a US-imposed economic sanction; a company can even be fined over a billion dollars for violating a US economic sanction.

And, so, sanctions are now the way that the US Congress actually does authorize a war — the new way, no longer the way that’s described in the US Constitution. However, in the economic-sanctions phase of a war — this initial phase — the war is being imposed directly against any company that violates a US-ordered economic sanction, against Russia, Iran, or whatever target-country the US Congress has, by means of such sanctions, actually authorized a war by the US to exist — a ‘state of war’ to exist.

For the US Congress, the passage of economic sanctions against a country thus effectively serves now as an authorization for the US President to order the US military to invade that country, if and when the President decides to do so. No further congressional authorization is necessary (except under the US Constitution). This initial phase of a war penalizes only those other nations’ violating companies directly — not the target-country. Though the US Government punishes the violating corporation, the actual target is the targeted (sanctioned) country. Sanctions are being used to strangle that target. The fined companies are mere ‘collateral damage’, in this phase of America’s new warfare. In this phase, which is now the standard first phase of the US Government’s going-to-war, the US Government is coercing corporations to join America’s economic war, against the given targeted country — in this case, it’s a war against Russia; Russia is the country that the US Government wants to strangle, in this particular instance.

On Tuesday, 11 December, the US House of Representatives voted unanimously (no member objected), by voice vote — unrecorded so that nobody can subsequently be blamed for anything — that President Donald Trump should impose penalties,

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US Media Claims that American Citizen was “Tortured Then Executed” by Syrian Government – Admits No Evidence – Global Research

us-media-claims-that-american-citizen-was-8220tortured-then-executed8221-by-syrian-government-8211-admits-no-evidence-8211-global-research

15-12-18 04:14:00,

A particularly scurrilous op-ed appeared in the pages of the Washington Post accusing the Syrian government of detaining, torturing, then executing an American citizen, Layla Shweikani.  

Considering US attempts to establish various pretexts to justify its ongoing military occupation of Syria and its attacks on Syrian forces – such an accusation could dangerously escalate the conflict if not checked and exposed.

The Accusation

Last month the U.S. government confirmed that an American citizen had died in Syrian captivity. Sources concluded that Layla Shweikani, a U.S. citizen with Syrian roots, had been tortured and then executed.

The article claims that the Syrian government’s civil registry recorded her death in late 2016. Claims that she died in Syrian government custody come from James Jeffery, the US special envoy for Syria Engagement, but the factual basis of this claim was not provided in the article, nor during recent testimony (video) provided by Jeffery to the US House Foreign Affairs Committee. US Representative Adam Kinzinger – who during the hearing suggested the US military “target Assad” – would be quoted in the Washington Post’s op-ed, claiming:

I understand there are some classified details, but it is disappointing that Ambassador Jeffrey was unable to say more on behalf of the administration about what happened to Layla and what the repercussions will be when he testified before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee. … I’m still waiting on an answer.

The op-ed would end by claiming:

Unless we begin to demand answers for the detention and death of Americans around the world, I don’t see any incentive for Assad or other thugs to stop targeting our citizens.

It is clear that Jason Rezaian among the pages of the Washington Post is accusing the Syrian government of detaining, torturing, and executing Layla Shweikani – and demanding accountability.

Completely absent from Rezaian’s Washington Post op-ed – however – was any actual evidence the Syrian government did “torture then executed” Layla Shweikani.

Washington Post Columnist Admits There’s No Evidence

Josh Rogin – a Washington Post columnist and political analyst for CNN – would eagerly promote Rezaian’s op-ed on social media. When pressed for evidence that the Syrian government “tortured then executed” Shweikani,

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Why It’s So Hard for Most Countries to be Economically Independent from the West | naked capitalism

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14-12-18 09:21:00,

By Justin Podur, a Toronto-based writer who teaches at York University in the Faculty of Environmental Studies. His site is podur.org. Follow him on Twitter: @justinpodur. Produced by by Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Why is it so difficult even for huge countries with large, diversified economies to maintain independence from the West?

If anyone could have done it, it was Brazil. In the 19th century it was imagined that Brazil could be a Colossus of the South to match the U.S., the Colossus of the North. It never panned out that way.

And 100 years later, it still hasn’t happened. With a $2 trillion GDP (a respectable $9,800 per capita), nearly 200 million people, and a strong manufacturing base (the second largest in the Americas and 28.5 percent of its GDP), Brazil is far from a tiny, weak island or peninsula dependent on a patron state to keep it afloat.

When Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva won a historic election to become president of Brazil in 2003, it seemed like an irreversible change in the country’s politics. Even though Lula’s Workers’ Party was accused of being communists who wanted to redistribute all of the country’s concentrated wealth, the party’s redistributive politics were in fact modest—a program to eradicate hunger in Brazil called Zero Hunger, a family-based welfare program called the Family Allowance, and an infrastructure spending program to try to create jobs. But its politics of national sovereignty were ambitious.

It was under Workers’ Party rule (under Lula and his successor, president Dilma Rousseff, who won the 2010 election to become president at the beginning of 2011) that the idea surged of a powerful BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) alliance that could challenge the ambitions of the U.S.-led West. Brazil took steps to strengthen its manufacturing, and held its ground on preventing pharmaceutical patent monopolies. Lula’s Brazil accused Western countries of hypocrisy for insisting both on “free trade” with poor countries and farm subsidies for themselves. Brazil even moved in the direction of building an independent arms industry.

Contradictions remained: The Workers’ Party government sent Brazilian troops to command the UN force that enacted the U.S.-impelled occupation of Haiti—treating the world to the spectacle of the biggest,

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“Globalism”, “Nationalism”, and “Identity Politics” | threeman.org

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14-12-18 07:25:00,

            This article was first published in The Present Age magazine Nov. 2018 Vol.4 No.8

This month we commemorate the Armistice of 11 November 1918 and the end of the First World War, although fighting of various kinds went on in numerous countries for the next few years, and although the 1914-1918 conflict would soon be seen by more far-sighted observers as the ‘first round’ of a conflict that would sooner or later begin again. Anthroposophers are familiar with Rudolf Steiner’s statements about nationalism1 being a major contributing factor to what was then called the “Great War” and which he usually referred to, more appropriately,  as “the catastrophe”.

Repeatedly over the last seven years or so, since about 2011, one has read or seen in the media, both mainstream and alternative, talk of the struggle between “globalism” and “nationalism”. The former is usually seen in two ways: firstly, socio-economic and geopolitical dimensions are emphasised, such as the establishment by the Anglo-American victors of the Second World War of what is commonly called in the mainstream media “the international rules-based order” of liberal democracy and capitalist economy, by which is usually meant the institutions established since the end of that war (GATT, UN, IMF, World Bank, WTO, NATO, EU et al.) and codes of conduct determined by those institutions. These institutions are often claimed by their supporters to have brought peace, prosperity and stability to the world over the last 70s years – though many in developing countries and in parts of Europe would certainly dispute that. Secondly, “globalism” is sometimes seen in terms of the technological developments that have occurred over this same period and especially since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s: the emergence of the Internet and the World Wide Web, and the economic consequences of these technological developments across the world. Of course, it is not the case that the global economy only emerged after 1945 or even 1991. Rudolf Steiner was not the only one who was pointing out a hundred years ago that a global economy had already been in existence for decades, and arguably, one could claim that the first signs of the global economy really began to develop in the 16th and 17th centuries with the new awareness of the world as a globe and as Europeans advanced their trade and colonisation projects around the world,

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