Seven Days Of Failures For The American Empire

seven-days-of-failures-for-the-american-empire

10-12-18 08:53:00,

Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

On November 25, two artillery boats of the Gyurza-M class, the Berdiansk and Nikopol, one tugboat, the Yany Kapu, as well as 24 crew members of the Ukrainian Navy, including two SBU counterintelligence officers, were detained by Russian border forces. In the incident, the Russian Federation employed Sobol-class patrol boats Izumrud and Don, as  well as two Ka-52, two Su-25 and one Su-30 aircraft.

Ukraine’s provocation follows the advice of several American think-tanks like the Atlantic Council, which have been calling for NATO involvement in the Sea of Azov for months. The area is strategically important for Moscow, which views its southern borders, above all the Sea of Azov, as a potential flash point for conflict due to the Kiev’s NATO-backed provocations.

To deter such adventurism, Moscow has deployed to the Kerch Strait and the surrounding coastal area S-400 batteries, modernized S-300s, anti-ship Bal missile systems, as well as numerous electronic-warfare systems, not to mention the Russian assets and personnel arrayed in the military districts abutting Ukraine. Such provocations, egged on by NATO and American policy makers, are meant to provide a pretext for further sanctions against Moscow and further sabotage Russia’s relations with European countries like Germany, France and Italy, as well as, quite naturally, to frustrate any personal interaction between Trump and Putin.

This last objective seems to have been achieved, with the planned meeting between Trump and Putin at the G20 in Buenos Aires being cancelled. As to the the other objectives, they seem to have failed miserably, with Berlin, Paris and Rome showing no intention of imposing additional sanctions against Russia, recognizing the Ukrainian provocation fow what it is. The intention to further isolate Moscow by the neocons, neoliberals and most of the Anglo-Saxon establishment seems to have failed, demonstrated in Buenos Aires with the meeting between the BRICS countries on the sidelines and the bilateral meetings between Putin and Merkel.

On November 30, following almost two-and-a-half months of silence, the Israeli air force bombed Syria with three waves of cruise missiles. The first and second waves were repulsed over southern Syria, and the third,

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Coldest December on Record in China | Armstrong Economics

coldest-december-on-record-in-china-armstrong-economics

10-12-18 08:46:00,

China is also experiencing the coldest day record during December 6 below zero C. Snow is falling in Beijing to Shanghai. It has been in the 70s in Abu Dhabi and in Tampa Florida, so the cold is dipping lower and lower across the planet. Temperatures in China have been held under 4 below zero C on only seven December days since 2000. This is the coldest on record so far. The real question becomes when will people start noticing that the summers are dry and short with the winters getting colder?

Categories: Climate

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Free Gas Over Yemen’s Skies: Saudi Jets Refueled By American Taxpayers Due To “Accounting Errors”

free-gas-over-yemen8217s-skies-saudi-jets-refueled-by-american-taxpayers-due-to-8220accounting-errors8221

10-12-18 08:40:00,

The White House wants to stay the course in Yemen even as the Senate is set to push back against US military support to the Saudi-led bombing campaign. But now a bombshell report reveals the Pentagon has been fueling Saudi and UAE jets free of charge due to “errors in accounting where DoD failed to charge” according to US defense officials. 

Free handouts over the skies of Yemen. US-Saudi refueling, file photo

The huge significance is summarized in the opening lines of The Atlantic report which broke the story over the weekend

President Donald Trump, who repeatedly complains that the United States is paying too much for the defense of its allies, has praised Saudi Arabia for ostensibly taking on Iran in the Yemen war. It turns out, however, that U.S. taxpayers have been footing the bill for a major part of the Saudi-led campaign, possibly to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

For the entire three-and-a-half years of the program, the Pentagon never had an official servicing agreement in place with the Saudis and further never informed Congress.

The vital refueling role that the US military has played in the war goes back to March 2015 and is reported to be “enormously expensive”. The recipient country, in this case the Saudis, is required by law to pay the costs but the Pentagon now admits “they in fact had not been charged adequately” in an official DoD letter obtained by The Atlantic.

The Pentagon is now “currently calculating the correct charges” but it’s unclear if the missing funds going back years — footed by the American taxpayer — will ever be obtained especially as the DoD doesn’t even know what it’s owed. 

Information on the “accounting errors” began to emerge after Senators asked defense officials last March to account for Saudi coalition refueling costs. After eight months, just a day ahead of the Nov. 28 Senate vote to debate ending the war in Yemen, the Pentagon admitted it could answer this question. 

Senator Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told The Atlantic that likely “tens of millions of dollars”

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Jared Kushner Advised MbS On How To “Weather The Storm” After Khashoggi Death: Report

jared-kushner-advised-mbs-on-how-to-8220weather-the-storm8221-after-khashoggi-death-report

09-12-18 08:45:00,

It’s a scandal that won’t elicit near the level of media coverage that any Russia-related story would. An explosive New York Times report over the weekend reveals that President Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner sought to advise Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the embattled prince’s political survival in the wake of the Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. 

Image via Reuters

The two had warm relations before the murder, however, contacts continued well after the Oct. 2nd murder inside the Istanbul consulate. One Saudi source reported to the Times that Kushner offered “advice about how to weather the storm, urging him to resolve his conflicts around the region and avoid further embarrassments.”

According to the report the two exchanged first name basis chummy texts and calls while circumventing formal White House procedures which guide contacts with foreign leaders. The White House pushed back against this allegation, with a spokesman telling the Times, “Jared has always meticulously followed protocols and guidelines regarding the relationship with [the crown prince] and all of the other foreign officials with whom he interacts.”

Kushner reportedly became a one-man pro-MbS lobbying campaign inside the White House, according to the report:

As the killing set off a firestorm around the world and American intelligence agencies concluded that it was ordered by Prince Mohammed, Mr. Kushner became the prince’s most important defender inside the White House, people familiar with its internal deliberations say.

Mr. Kushner’s support for Prince Mohammed in the moment of crisis is a striking demonstration of a singular bond that has helped draw President Trump into an embrace of Saudi Arabia as one of his most important international allies.

However, it’s clear that Trump appeared an enthusiastic supporter of MbS from the beginning, and has since remained steadfast in standing by the crown prince even as demands grow to create more distance with Riyadh.

The “untouchable” decades-long oil for weapons relationship has always existed at a deeply institutional level, and few should have had any doubt that it would survive something like the Khashoggi scandal, with or without Kushner’s MbS ties. 

The NYT report suggests Kusher’s closeness with MbS has helped shape White House policy on everything from the Yemen war,

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OPEC’s Deep Cuts & The Rise Of The Petroyuan

opec8217s-deep-cuts-amp-the-rise-of-the-petroyuan

09-12-18 08:40:00,

Authored by Tom Luongo,

OPEC Cuts Deep To Save Cartel

With oil prices in free fall and the dawning realization that Great Reflation trade of 2017 is over, OPEC needed to do something drastic to remind everyone how important they are.

Moreover, with Qatar quitting the cartel last week it was then doubly necessary for OPEC to make the markets stand up and remember them.

So, after a few days of wrangling, a 1.2 million barrel per day cut was announced by OPEC, larger than the market was expecting. 

The Trump administration is fuming today over this result.  

Predictably, oil prices jumped on the news.  All is right with their world, yes?

Well, yes and no.  The Saudis need $80 per barrel oil.  Russia doesn’t get its hair mussed below around $50 and even then it simply scales back government spending in line with oil prices — auto-budgeting based on oil tariffs.

The free-floating ruble insulates Russia domestically from a sharp drop in oil prices far better than Saudi Arabia since the Riyal is pegged to the U.S. dollar.

But for Saudi Arabia, the stakes are far higher.  And its chief rival, Iran, understands this very well.  The reason the OPEC meeting was so touch and go was Iran exerting its leverage over the Saudis in response to U.S. sanctions. 

Because while Russia agreed to a 200,000 barrel cut, which is nothing to them in the grand scheme of things, Iran was exempted from making any cuts.

Iran, Libya and Venezuela will be effectively exempt from the cuts, though the text of the deal will say they received “special considerations,” Iraqi oil minister Thamir Ghadhban said.

Saudi Loss Leader

Saudi leadership is weakening.  Qatar left to pursue its own ambitions without OPEC getting in the way.  That’s a nice way of saying they want to do business with Iran developing the shared North Pars gas field.

Iran used the Saudis’ need for much higher prices to extract this major concession so that it can produce what it can sell.  Iran will, by definition, maintain market share, possibly taking some from the Saudis because a tighter supply environment means customers will flaunt U.S.

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Canada’s treatment of Meng Wanzhou in violation of human rights – Global Times

09-12-18 08:36:00,

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/9 4:14:57

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, had her bail hearing Friday in the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver, Canada. The hearing was adjourned with no decision made on bail, and will resume at 1 pm on Monday.

Court reporters said she was not handcuffed for the hearing and was wearing a green sweatsuit. She seems to be getting humane treatment, but these are only illusions on the surface.

A source familiar with the case told Global Times that since Meng was detained by Canadian police on December 1, she has been subjected to rude and degrading treatment. She was immediately handcuffed at the airport and taken to a detention facility. She was also cuffed on her way to and from hospital from the facility. It is worth noting that Meng was wearing ankle braces when she was taken to the correction center after her first bail hearing.

In the absence of a conviction by trial, Meng was put into restraining devices used on felons. Treating her as a prisoner is not only degrading, but is also a violation of her basic human rights.

Global Times has learnt that Meng had surgery in May to remove her thyroid gland. She also has high blood pressure which requires daily medication. It seems that the Canadian detention facility is not offering her the necessary health care.

Canadian police have treated Meng in such an inhumane way by putting her in handcuffs and ankle braces without conviction. The Chinese public, who are very concerned about this matter, find it hard to believe that Meng was treated in such way, especially in Canada. Canada is a country well-known for emphasizing human rights and the rule of law. How can they do such things that are only done in an uncivilized and barbaric country?

There is no doubt that Canada is on the wrong side in this case. To describe with an old Chinese saying, such behaviors are like holding a candle for the devil. Meng did not violate any Canadian law. US authorities are accusing her of violating US domestic laws, but it is still unknown if the US side can provide sufficient evidence to prove their accusations are valid.

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A People’s History of George H. W. Bush. “Soldier Statesman” or Criminal War Profiteer? – Global Research

a-people8217s-history-of-george-h-w-bush.-8220soldier-statesman8221-or-criminal-war-profiteer-8211-global-research

09-12-18 04:56:00,

“The Bush bank helped the Thyssens make the Nazi steel that killed Allied solders. As bad as financing the Nazi war machine may seem, aiding and abetting the Holocaust was worse. Thyssen’s coal mines used Jewish slaves as if they were disposable chemicals. There are six million skeletons in the Thyssen family closet, and a myriad of criminal and historical questions to be answered about the Bush family’s complicity.”

John Loftus,  former prosecutor in the U.S. Justice Department’s Nazi War Crimes Unit [1]

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

The 41st president of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush passed away on Friday November 30th. He was 94.

Mainstream retrospectives of the man have been flattering and laudatory of his record in power. The major US news outlets generally presented the invasions of Panama and Iraq in a positive light, completely glossing over, if not completely ignoring, the massive civilian casualties and the war crimes perpetrated by U.S. and coalition forces in the process. [2]

Media over the past week seemed to give the elder George Bush a pass for his role as U.S. Vice President in the Iran-Contra scandal, which saw arms sold to the Islamic Republic of Iran with the proceeds diverted toward assisting Contra rebels in Nicaragua. He would later pardon several of the operators complicit in that illegal endeavour. [3]

Critiques of the man’s record, if there were any, would centre around his broken presidential campaign promise not to raise taxes. [4]

Audiences looking for more of this kind of remembrance will not get it here.

Instead, the Global Research News Hour radio program is using the occasion of President Bush Sr’s passing to provide a critical, and hopefully more accurate review of the man’s background and time in power. More importantly, George Bush as a case study can point to some of the larger power dynamics which have shaped the events of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

In our first half hour, we will discuss in depth the incredible but true history of the Bush family’s history of financial dealings with the Nazis up to and during the Second World War!

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Jair Bolsonaro Promised to End Corruption in Brazil — Then He Appointed an Extremely Corrupt Cabinet

jair-bolsonaro-promised-to-end-corruption-in-brazil-then-he-appointed-an-extremely-corrupt-cabinet

09-12-18 04:54:00,

“Our government departments will not be led by anyone who’s been convicted of corruption,” said Jair Bolsonaro on October 31, three days after being elected president of Brazil. The goal of his statement, published on his social media feeds, was clear: to deny accusations in the press that he had asked Alberto Fraga, a member of Congress who was convicted of taking bribes, to join his administration.

A week earlier, a video had emerged on the Brazilian website R7 with Bolsonaro singing a different tune than his post-election statement. Surrounded by pro-gun members of Congress at a gathering in his home on October 23, Bolsonaro excitedly said, “I can already announce that Fraga will be the one to coordinate the [pro-gun parliamentary] front in my administration.” Hours after Bolsonaro’s tweet about eschewing corrupt officials, however, the R7 video was deleted from the website. It was only the latest episode in which R7, part of the right-wing evangelical Universal Church’s media empire, had crossed the line from journalism to a (poorly) disguised propaganda office.

A central talking point of Bolsonaro’s campaign was to market the far-right candidate as the only one who could free Brazil from the ills of corruption. It was an obvious strategy. Corruption was at the top of Brazilians’ lists of concerns, according to a poll published in December by Ibope, a research institute. Corruption ranked higher than health, education, and public safety. It only makes sense for the president-elect to try to disconnect his image from the corrupt politicians that voters have come to hate so intensely. But there’s a problem: Bolsonaro deliberately surrounded himself with these very same corrupt politicians.

Examining Bolsonaro’s top deputies and cabinet appointments, it becomes apparent that his speeches against corruption are nothing but empty words. From the allies arrayed alongside Bolsonaro during his first speech as president-elect to the transition team he assembled and the governmental department heads he’s appointed, Bolsonaro picked at least seven people tangled up in scandals, from lawsuits and official investigations to criminal convictions and even confession of guilt.

Brazilian Rio Grande do Sul Congressman, Onyx Lorenzoni (C), Brazilian Economist Paulo Guedes (L) and Brazilian Social Liberal Party (PSL) vice-president, Gustavo Bebianno (C-Back), talk with press in front of the house of the businessman Paulo Marinho where the Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro held a meeting, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on October 30, 2018. - Brazil's far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro huddled with advisers Tuesday to finalize the cabinet that will be charged with implementing his hardline agenda, as opponents planned their

Onyx Lorenzoni, center, accompanies Brazilian economist Paulo Guedes, left, and Brazilian Social Liberal Party vice president Gustavo Bebianno to talk with press in Rio de Janeiro on Oct.

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When George Bush, Sr. took on the Israel lobby, and paid for it

when-george-bush-sr.-took-on-the-israel-lobby-and-paid-for-it

09-12-18 04:48:00,

George Bush at White House press conference September 12, 1991, defending his move to hold up loan guarantees to Israel. He said he was “one lonely little guy” against “powerful political forces.”

In 1991 President George H.W. Bush held up a $10 billion loan guarantee to Israel over Israel’s continued settlement building. Bush won the battle, but eventually lost the war, a lesson that politicians have remembered ever since…

By Alison Weir

In its article, “How ‘lonely little’ George H.W. Bush changed the US-Israel relationship,” the Times of Israel reports: “The 41st president beat AIPAC, but lost 24% of his Jewish backing after confronting Israel over the settlements; it’s a lesson US leaders since have taken to heart.”

The Israeli newspaper states that Bush “made clear the cost of an American president waging a political fight against the vast coalition of pro-Israel lobbying groups. In doing so, he exposed the limits of what the world’s most powerful man can do” when opposed by Israel partisans.

In 1991 Bush told Israel that the U.S. would not give Israel $10 million in loan guarantees until Israel stopped building settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. (Settlements are illegal under international law.*)

Bush stated: “I think the American people will strongly support me in this. I’m going to fight for it because I think this is what the American people want, and I’m going to do absolutely everything I can to back those members of the United States Congress who are forward-looking in their desire to see peace.”

The Israel lobby, especially the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), was outraged.

AIPAC head Thomas Dine, 1991. Dine said Bush’s action would be “a day that lives in infamy for the American pro-Israeli community.”

Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper reports: “Thomas Dine, the then-executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, declared that September 12 – when Bush announced he would tell Congress that the request for the guarantees must be deferred for 120 days – would be ‘a day that lives in infamy for the American pro-Israeli community.’

“Dine lamented that ‘this president did what no other president has done: He held a special press conference on this issue and challenged not just congressional efforts to proceed with the guarantees legislation,

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These 11 Companies Control Everything You Buy

these-11-companies-control-everything-you-buy

09-12-18 09:18:00,

Via WikiBuy.com,

Is freedom of choice an illusion?

The rapid rise of variation in everyday goods and services, from which cereal we eat in the morning to which toothpaste we brush our teeth with at night, gives the perception of unlimited choice. For example, if you’re deciding which bottled water to buy, the possibilities range from budget brands, like Deer Park or Ozarka, to higher-end options, like Perrier or S. Pellegrino. But this appearance of choice is actually manufactured. All of the aforementioned brands are owned by one company: Nestle.

Despite the amount of choices in the consumer market, several big companies own a large majority of major brands, effectively controlling everything you buy.

So, how much of “choice” is really controlled by big business, and how well do Americans understand which corporations have a stake in the goods and services they rely on every day? To find out, we took an in-depth look at the major companies that own a majority of America’s food and consumer goods. Then, we surveyed 3,000 Americans about their understanding of which big businesses own which major brands. Check out our full visual below, or skip ahead to see our survey findings.

These 11 Consumer Goods and Food Companies Control What You Buy

Ceiling-high grocery store shelves may give the perception of endless options, but a closer look at the brands and the companies that own them reveal a complex interconnection. Check out our full visual above to get a better sense of just how intertwined some brands are, and read on to learn more about how well Americans understand this relationship.

Major players

Kellogg’s

Founded: 1906 (as Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company)

2017 revenue: $12.93 billion USD

Major brands: Cheez-It, Eggo, Famous Amos, Keebler, Town House

General Mills

Founded: 1928

2017 revenue: $15.62 billion USD

Major brands: Betty Crocker, Bisquick, Gold Medal, Cheerios, Chex

Kraft-Heinz Company

Founded: 2015 (merger between Kraft Foods Inc. and Heinz)

2017 revenue: $18.22 billion

Major brands: Heinz Ketchup,

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Is Diplomacy A Waste Of Time With Washington?

is-diplomacy-a-waste-of-time-with-washington

09-12-18 09:17:00,

Authored by Stephen Lendman,

The US is a serial lawbreaker, operating by its own rules, no others.

Time and again, it flagrantly breaches international treaties, Security Council resolutions, and other rule of law principles, including its own Constitution.

Diplomacy with Republicans and undemocratic Dems is an exercise in futility.

Trump’s JCPOA pullout and threatened INF Treaty withdrawal show Washington can never be trusted.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova’s proposed US outreach to discuss INF Treaty bilateral differences is well intended – despite knowing nothing is accomplished when talks with Washington are held, so why bother.

It’s just a matter of time before the US breaches another promise. They’re hollow when made. Kremlin good intentions aren’t enough to overcome US duplicity and implacable hostility toward Russia.

“We are ready to continue the dialogue in appropriate formats on the entire range of problems related to this document on the basis of professionalism and mutual respect, without putting forward unsubstantiated accusations and ultimatums. Our proposals are well known and remain on the negotiating table,” said Zakharova, adding:

“We have admitted (US) documents for further consideration. This text again includes accusations in the form of unfounded and unsubstantiated information about Russia’s alleged violations of this deal.”

Comments to Washington like the above and similar remarks are like talking to a wall. The US demands all countries bend to its will, offering nothing in return but betrayal – especially in dealings with Russia, China, Iran, and other sovereign independent governments it seeks to replace with pro-Western puppet ones.

Not a shred of evidence suggests Russia violated its INF Treaty obligations. The accusation is baseless like all others against the Kremlin.

“No one has officially or by any other means handed over to Russia any files or facts, confirming that Russia breaches or does not comply with this deal,” Zakharova stressed, adding:

“We again confirm our consistent position that the INF Treaty is one of the key pillars of strategic stability and international security.”

It’s why the Trump regime intends abolishing it by pulling out. Strategic stability and international security defeat its agenda. Endless wars and chaos serve it.

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Jeff Bezos Earns More In 30 Seconds Than The Average Worker Makes In A Year

jeff-bezos-earns-more-in-30-seconds-than-the-average-worker-makes-in-a-year

09-12-18 09:16:00,

Have you ever wondered how long it takes for the world’s wealthiest captains of industry to earn what you make in a year? For many, the reality is too depressing to fathom.

But for any curious parties eager to learn the painful truth, ABC Finance has created a series of infographics that break down how much the world’s wealthiest people earn – and how it compares to the average salary for regular non-billionaire workers.

While millions of Americans no doubt enjoyed some degree of schadenfreude watching the correction in FAANG stocks wipe out nearly $1 trillion of value from the largest US tech firms: Mark Zuckerberg alone has lost nearly $100 billion of his personal wealth since the beginning of 2018, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has lost as much as $13 billion or more in a single day. But that doesn’t change the fact that the world’s billionaires enjoyed their highest-earning year on record in 2017 as their wealth increased by a combined $9 trillion.

Facebook

Helped by the asset-friendly policies of the world’s largest central banks, the wealthiest 1% of the world now owns nearly half the wealth. The 54 billionaires living in the 54 UK alone have an aggregate $160 billion in wealth, equivalent to over 6% of Britain’s GDP. Meanwhile, the average worker earns about $37,000 a year. Virgin CEO Richard Branson earns that amount in roughly 25 minutes.

Branson

Even more galling, Facebook CEO earns the same sum every 60 seconds. Bezos earns the same sum every 28 seconds.

Facebook

Here’s how the distribution of billionaires breaks down for every continent:

Rich

Curious to see how your own earnings stack up? ABC Finance has developed a comparison tool that can help determine how your wealth stacks up against the mega-rich.

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Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, December 8, 2018, #174

geoengineering-watch-global-alert-news-december-8-2018-174

08-12-18 06:25:00,

Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, December 8, 2018, #174

Dane Wigington
GeoengineeringWatch.org

The human race continues to hit the accelerator as we head over the edge of the abyss. The weather-makers are fully utilizing their resources to engineer yet another winter weather event over North America, “Winter Storm Diego”. Are environmental protection provisions being augmented? Or are they being completely gutted? The list of recent actions in that arena is beyond shocking. Are the recent wave of dire environmental reports accurate? Many are already starving around the globe, is it possible first world populations could soon face food shortages as well? The latest installment of Global Alert News is below.

How can we maintain solace, a proper perspective and a correct compass heading, even as collapse looms on the horizon? If we can look ourselves in the mirror and know that we are doing our absolute best to stand against the darkening horizon, then we are on the right path. Make your voice heard in the battle to sound the alarm, every day matters at this late hour.
DW

This week’s GeoengineeringWatch.org outreach booth is at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, Santa Barbara, 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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Shell Oil Executive Boasts That His Company Influenced the Paris Agreement

shell-oil-executive-boasts-that-his-company-influenced-the-paris-agreement

08-12-18 10:44:00,

Shell oil helped write the Paris climate agreement, according to a top Royal Dutch Shell executive.

They’re also the world’s ninth-largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions.

The executive, Shell’s Chief Climate Change Adviser David Hone, made his comments at the international climate change conference COP 24 on Friday. Hone was candid about just how much of a hand his company — through their involvement with the International Emissions Trading Association — had in writing the Paris agreement.

The agreement is the centerpiece of the conference in Poland, where delegates are trying to draft a rulebook for how to implement it. IETA is a business lobby comprised of corporations including fossil fuel producers that pushes for “market-based climate solutions,” including at United Nations climate talks.

To hear him tell it, their involvement has been wildly successful. “We have had a process running for four years for the need of carbon unit trading to be part of the Paris agreement. We can take some credit for the fact that Article 6 [of the Paris agreement] is even there at all,” Hone said at an IETA side event within the Katowice, Poland, conference center. “We put together a straw proposal. Many of the elements of that straw proposal appear in the Paris agreement. We put together another straw proposal for the rulebook, and we saw some of that appear in the text.”

Jesse Bragg, communications director for Corporate Accountability, told me, “In some ways, I’m pretty thankful that Shell was so honest about what many campaigners have been saying for a long time: that the very corporations that created this crisis are at the table and writing the supposed solutions for getting us out of it.”

Under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, only state actors can officially negotiate over the text of climate agreements, including the Paris agreement. Unions, civil society groups, and corporations can be observers to that process.

Hone added that he’s been “chatting with some of the delegations” and that the “the [European Union’s] position is not that different from how Shell sees this.”

Article 6, the provision that Shell is taking credit for, outlines carbon markets as one of the chief ways that oil companies and other major polluters can rein in their emissions,

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China’s Uyghur Problem — The Unmentioned Part

chinas-uyghur-problem-the-unmentioned-part

08-12-18 10:37:00,

by F. William Engdahl, via NEO
In recent months Western media and the Washington Administration have begun to raise a hue and cry over alleged mass internment camps in China’s northwestern Xinjiang where supposedly up to one million ethnic Uyghur Chinese are being detained and submitted to various forms of “re-education.” Several things about the charges are notable, not the least that all originate from Western media or “democracy” NGOs such as Human Rights Watch whose record for veracity leaves something to be desired.

In August Reuters published an article under the headline, “UN says it has credible reports that China holds million Uighurs in secret camps.” A closer look at the article reveals no official UN policy statement, but rather a quote from one American member of an independent committee that does not speak for the UN, a member with no background in China. The source of the claim it turns out is a UN independent advisory NGO called Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The sole person making the charge, American committee member Gay McDougall, stated she was “deeply concerned” about “credible reports.” McDougall cited no source for the dramatic charge.

Reuters in their article boosts its claim by citing a murky Washington DC based NGO, the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD). In an excellent background investigation, researchers at the Grayzone Project found that the CHRD gets hundreds of thousands of dollars from unnamed governments. The notorious US government NGO, National Endowment for Democracy, is high on the list of usual suspects. Notably, the CHRD official address is that of the Human Rights Watch which gets funds also from the Soros foundation.

The ‘Uyghur Problem’

The true state of affairs in China’s Xinjiang Province regarding Uyghurs is not possible to independently verify, whether such camps exist and if so who is there and under what conditions. What is known, however, is the fact that NATO intelligence agencies, including that of Turkey and of the US, along with Saudi Arabia, have been involved in recruiting and deploying thousands of Chinese Uyghur Muslims to join Al Qaeda and other terror groups in Syria in recent years. This side of the equation warrants a closer look, the side omitted by Reuters or UN Ambassador Haley.

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Yemen: 85,000. Dead. Kids.

yemen-85000-dead-kids.

08-12-18 09:58:00,

In Yemen, a place where things couldn’t get worse, things have gotten worse.

85,000 children under the age of five may have died during the war in Yemen, according to the international charitable group Save the Children.  This figure was arrived at using data gathered by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).  Save the Children’s November 20 press release states that the children died from “extreme hunger and disease.”  Saudi Arabia’s naval blockade of Yemen’s port of Hodeidah is a huge factor in Yemen’s catastrophic food shortage.

Haven’t we already read this story?  It has been only a month since the New York Times ran a series of photos of Yemen’s dead and dying.  The lead photo is of a 7-year-old Yemeni girl, Amal Hussain, in a state of advanced starvation.  Amal has died since the photo appeared.

The images of dead, starving, and mutilated Yemenis are so horrific that the Times took the unprecedented step of explaining why it was running the photos.  The reason: because the world needs to see what the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, assisted by the US, are doing to Yemen.

The war has turned Yemen, already the Arab world’s poorest country, into the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” according to UN Secretary General António Guterres.  The UN estimates that 14 million Yemenis face starvation.  This should be a source of shame and outrage to Americans.  It is US assistance, which makes the aggression of the Saudis and Emiratis possible.  The US supports the Saudi-led coalition with arms, intelligence, target-spotting, and (until recently) midair refueling of Saudi warplanes.  (According to Forbes, “two-thirds of the 365 combat-capable aircraft in the Saudi inventory are of U.S. origin.”)

Revolt in Congress

On November 9, the US and the Saudis announced that the US was ending midair refueling of Saudi warplanes. Great news, right?  Maybe not.  Experts say this decision probably won’t mean fewer Saudi air strikes on Yemen.  In any event, the US was refueling only about 20% of Saudi warplanes, and the Saudis have announced that they can refuel their planes themselves.

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‘Biggest attack on freedom of speech in decades’ – WikiLeaks hits back against DNC lawsuit

biggest-attack-on-freedom-of-speech-in-decades-wikileaks-hits-back-against-dnc-lawsuit

08-12-18 09:56:00,

WikiLeaks is taking the fight to the Democratic National Committee, accusing the party of an unprecedented assault on the First Amendment in a legal filing that underlined both the absurdity and the overreach of its lawsuit.

Prosecuting WikiLeaks for publishing “truthful information of public interest” would have a disastrous effect on press freedom, opening the door to prosecution of any and all media organizations that dare to speak truth to power, the embattled publishers wrote.

“All that would remain would be a shell of the First Amendment practiced by a cowed and self-censoring media intimidated by fear of lawsuits designed to deprive the public of its right to information about powerful public figures and entities.”

The DNC filed an ambitious lawsuit against WikiLeaks, the Trump campaign, and the entire country of Russia in April, alleging they all conspired to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. Claiming the publication of the leaked campaign emails was part of a calculated operation to “undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency,” the suit went on to claim the emails contained “trade secrets” whose publication harmed the DNC’s “business” – meaning compensation is in order.

In a fundraising appeal to its supporters posted Friday, WikiLeaks pointed out that the DNC has access to unlimited funds from its wealthy donors and could easily bleed the organization dry through legal costs, no matter how ridiculous the suit might seem. Framing the legal fight as a “David vs. Goliath struggle,” they reminded supporters that WikiLeaks has never lost a court case and never had to retract a story – and that the DNC has never claimed the emails were not genuine, instead choosing to deflect attention from their content by shooting the messenger.

Legal experts, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, have sharply criticized the DNC lawsuit for its overreach, warning that “by suing WikiLeaks, the DNC could endanger principles of press freedom.” New York Times deputy general counsel David McCraw wrote earlier this year that “I think the law would have a very hard time drawing a distinction between The New York Times and WikiLeaks” if the latter were to be prosecuted,

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Wall Street’s Corruption Runs Deeper Than You Can Fathom

wall-street8217s-corruption-runs-deeper-than-you-can-fathom

07-12-18 07:23:00,

Of the myriad policy decisions that have brought us to our current precipice, from the signing of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the invasion of Iraq and the gerrymandering of House districts across the country, few have proven as consequential as the demise of Glass-Steagall. Signed into law as the U.S.A. Banking Act of 1933, the legislation had been crucial to safeguarding the financial industry in the wake of the Great Depression. But with its repeal in 1999, the barriers separating commercial and investment banking collapsed, creating the preconditions for an economic crisis from whose shadow we have yet to emerge.

Carmen Segarra might have predicted as much. As an employee at the Federal Reserve in 2011, three years after the dissolution of Lehman Brothers, she witnessed the results of this deregulation firsthand. In her new book, “Noncompliant: A Lone Whistleblower Exposes the Giants of Wall Street,” she chronicles the recklessness of institutions like Goldman Sachs and the stunning lengths the United States government went to to accommodate them, even as they authored one of the worst crashes in our nation’s history.

“They didn’t want to hear what I had to say,” she tells Robert Scheer in the latest installment of “Scheer Intelligence.” “And so I think what we have in terms of this story is really not just a failure of the banks and the regulators, but also a failure of our prosecutors. I mean, a lot of the statutes that could be used—criminal statutes, even, that could be used to hold these executives accountable are not being used, and they have not expired; we could have prosecutors holding these people accountable.”

Segarra also explains why she decided to blow the whistle on the Fed, and what she ultimately hopes to accomplish by telling her story. “I don’t like to let the bad guys win,” she says. “I’d rather go down swinging. So for me, I saw it as an opportunity to do my civic duty and rebuild my life. … I was very lucky to be blessed by so many people who I shared the story to, especially lawyers who were so concerned about what I was reporting, who thought that the Federal Reserve was above this,

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Israeli Scammers Swindle 3000 French of $20 Million, Many Other Countries – No Wonder Macron Is Hated

israeli-scammers-swindle-3000-french-of-20-million-many-other-countries-8211-no-wonder-macron-is-hated

07-12-18 07:06:00,

French and Israeli media report that a group largely made up of Israelis scammed 3,000 French citizens out of approximately $20 million.  Most of the stolen money is in Israel, but Israeli authorities are reportedly failing to cooperate with France in prosecuting the scammers and retrieving the money.

This is the latest of numerous examples of Israeli officials stone-walling international efforts against the perpetrators of massive financial swindles around the world, according to Israeli investigative journalists and others. These scams have brought estimated billions into the Israeli economy, propping up a regime widely condemned for human rights abuses and ethnic cleansing against indigenous Palestinians. Together, the stories paint a picture of a government that seems to be turning a blind eye to – and even protecting – scammers.

Finance Magnates analysis reports that one of the swindles alone has brought in over a billion dollars and employs 5,000 people. And a new scam, described below, may help what is predicted to be “the next major driver of the Israeli economy.”

A former IRS expert on international crime notes that “fraudulent industries are often major economic drivers, and that can translate into political clout.”

Some Israeli journalists have been working to expose the situation in Israeli newspapers, publishing exposés like “As Israel turns blind eye to vast binary options fraud, French investigators step in” and “Are French Jewish criminals using Israel as a get-out-of-jail card?” (Short answer: yes.)

Victimizing French business owners & churches

The victims of the recent scam against French citizens included churches and the owners of small businesses – delicatessens, car repair shops, hair salons, plumbers, etc. Some lost their life savings and describe being threatened and intimidated by the scammers.

The masterminds of the scam reportedly were Antoine Ilan Frau (aka Ilan Frau) and Michael Nedjar, both of whom resided in Israel at the time. French police arrested the two at the Paris airport in 2016 as they were about to return to Israel. While they and 25 others were subsequently found guilty in a French court, other alleged co-conspirators have not yet been arrested and are believed to be in Israel.

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Why Russia won’t invade the Ukraine, the Baltic statelets or anybody else | The Vineyard of the Saker

why-russia-wont-invade-the-ukraine-the-baltic-statelets-or-anybody-else-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

07-12-18 04:24:00,

[this article was written for the Unz Review]

The AngloZionist propaganda machine is constantly warning us that Russia is about to invade some country.  The list of candidates for invasion is long and ranges from Norway to the Ukraine and includes the Baltic statelets, Poland and even countries further West.  Of course, we are also told that NATO and the US are here to prevent that.  Well, thank God for them, right?

But what is conspicuously missing from this narrative is a discussion of the possible Russian motives for such a military move. Typically, we are merely told that Russia has broken the European post-Cold War order and borders by “annexing” Crimea and by sending military forces into the Donbass. Anybody with an IQ at room temperature or above by now realizes that both of these claims are total bunk. The ones who indeed broke the post-Cold War international order and borders were the NATO member states when they used military force, in complete illegality, to break-up Yugoslavia. As for the people of Crimea, they had the opportunity to vote about their future in a referendum, very much unlike the inhabitants of Kosovo which had no such opportunity. As for the 08.08.08 war, even the Europeans who eventually, and very reluctantly, agreed that it was, in fact, Saakashvili who started this conflict, not Russia.

But let’s set all this aside and assume that the Russian leaders would not hesitate to use military force again if it was to their advantage.  Let’s assume that, yes, the Russians are up to no good and that they might well try to bite-off some other piece of land somewhere in Europe.

Such an assumption would immediately raise a crucial question: why would the Russians want to do that?

For some reason, this question is rarely, if ever, asked.

Oh sure, we are told that “Putin wants to rebuild the Soviet Union” or some other type of empire but, again, nobody seems to wonder why he would want that!

So let’s look at possible rationales for such an attack:

Reason number one: to gain more land

That is probably the least credible reason of all.  Russia is a vast country (17,098,246 km2) with a relatively small population (144,526,636) resulting in a very low population density.

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Digital Sovereignty. A Public Service Internet for Europe? Protecting Users’ Personal Data – Global Research

digital-sovereignty.-a-public-service-internet-for-europe-protecting-users8217-personal-data-8211-global-research

07-12-18 02:49:00,

The French Government announced in October that the National Assembly and Army Ministry would no longer be relying on American digital companies for Internet search.  They are in future going to be using the French and German developed Quant search system which doesn’t track its users’ personal data and doesn’t therefore expose users to the misuse of personal data for advertising or propaganda purposes.

This announcement has made no waves here, but it could be the start of an Internet revolution. For the first time, an attempt is being made at a Government level, to wrest back some of the control that private American companies now have over our lives.  As Florian Bachelier, chair of the Assembly’s Cybersecurity and Digital Sovereignty task-force put it: “Security and digital sovereignty are at stake here”. This is only a small step but, alongside a much fiercer attitude towards regulation, France has demonstrated that it is taking the need to reclaim “digital sovereignty” seriously.  According to an article in Wired magazine the search for a European wide solution to American dominance of data is now well underway.

It is useful to see these moves in the context of previous European interventions in the development of media technologies. In 19th Century France the telegraph was developed with Government funding and nationalisation of the British telegraph was organised because the French system was much more efficient and provided equal access to all news organisations and customers. The development of radio as a consumer medium in Britain was dependent on money provided for ship to shore communication in the First World War.  Public broadcasting was then established to ensure that these monopolistic services could not be used to provide a propaganda platform for any one individual or organisation – including the Government.

This history can be compared to the rather different way in which media has developed in the US where the rights to private ownership have always taken precedence over public rights, even when (as in the case of the Internet and World Wide Web), the basic technical infrastructure is built using public funds.  As a result, a handful of oligopolies have controlled each generation of media technologies and used them to amass private fortunes.  The speed of development of the FANGS (Facebook,

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The Creepy Line: A New Documentary on the Immense Power of Tech Giants | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

the-creepy-line-a-new-documentary-on-the-immense-power-of-tech-giants-light-on-conspiracies-8211-revealing-the-agenda

07-12-18 01:07:00,

By Ryan McMaken

The Creepy Line, a new documentary by director M.A. Taylor, is now streaming at Amazon Prime. It takes a disturbing look at how Google and Facebook influence their users’ view of the world, and how the companies have pioneered new ways of doing business. It’s a business model in which personal data harvested from users is exploited so as to offer targeted advertising to third parties.

The Creepy Line takes its title from a description of Google once uttered by Google executive Eric Schmidt who said Google’s mission was to “get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”

In truth, though, by pioneering the “surveillance business model,” Google has been been stepping over “the creepy line” for years.

Is is perhaps in its basic explanations of how the surveillance model works that The Creepy Line is most interesting: the filmmakers explain in simple terms how a small number of companies have come to compile extensive data profiles of many hundreds of millions of human beings, and how that data is the real product sold and used by the companies that collect it.

This, of course, has always been the plan, although it was arguably much more modest at one time.

The Surveillance Model

There’s a lot of money to be made by helping advertisers target specific potential customers. But first you need a lot of data on the people you’re targeting. Successful tech giants can offer this data — and huge amounts of it.

In order to offer advertisers data on potential customers, though, a company first has to collect it. And in order to collect it, the company must offer some sort of bait for the users to seize upon, thus leaving behind their personal data. Over the past 20 years, Google and Facebook have perfected the art of convincing users to trade online services for their personal data. And the companies’ capabilities have expanded with time.

For example, in the early days, if internet users didn’t use the Google search engine to access a web site, Google didn’t know about it. Users had to use Google’s site in order to be tracked.

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A Tax Revolt in France | National Review

a-tax-revolt-in-france-national-review

07-12-18 10:48:00,

A French riot policeman stands next to a burning car as youth and students protest against the French government’s reform plan in Nantes, France, December 6, 2018. (Stephane Mahe/REUTERS)

The democratic peoples of the West have tired of the politics of the sensible center and are demanding change.

Finally, France has a bona fide working-class riot. Rather than the usual, a riot of bourgeois students on behalf of a notional working class.

They are wearing the yellow vests that all motorists are required to possess in case their car is disabled. The protest began with outrage against the imposition of new fuel taxes that hit those outside the metropolis particularly hard. The government has already delayed the taxes, but people are still in the streets, and their grievances are multiplying.

French truckers and farmers are calling a strike in support of the Yellow Vests. The Macron government is seeking out “leaders” who can speak for this movement, and with whom it can negotiate. This is French politics as we know, love, and fear it; where faith in the efficacy of democratic institutions is low, and faith in demotic anger somewhat higher.

Finally, a Color Revolution comes to a Western government, one that is definitely not supported by or coordinated from the U.S. State Department.

Oh, I know that is quite a thing to say. But what else to call the Yellow Vest protest? Like the Color Revolutions of Eastern Europe, it is now a catch-all brand for a variety of causes being advanced against a centralized state that is felt to be unresponsive. You can get a sense of the panic from a Guardian editorial that begins, “For Europe’s sake, Emmanuel Macron needs help.”

Macron has proven to be a fantastically unpopular French ruler, although many believe his unpopularity is a sign of his political courage. Long before the Yellow Vest protests started, Macron vowed that, unlike other French leaders, he would not let his agenda of reforming the French economy be stalled by popular protest. The Yellow Vests are putting him to the test.

The fear in the air is that, like Italy, France is vulnerable to a populism that combines the grievances out on the peripheries of left and right and advances them against the liberal center.

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Captured On Radar, Geoengineered Winter Weather Over Atlantic City

captured-on-radar-geoengineered-winter-weather-over-atlantic-city

07-12-18 09:07:00,

Captured On Radar, Geoengineered Winter Weather Over Atlantic City

Dane Wigington
GeoengineeringWatch.org

Geoengineering Watch has again captured radar animations that prove geoengineering operations are manufacturing “winter weather” over specific regions. The increasingly desperate and destructive operations being carried out by the weather-makers is far beyond alarming. Engineering “winter weather” events are one of the primary missions of the climate engineers as the abrupt climate collapse scenario continues to unfold on planet Earth (a scenario being further fueled overall by climate engineering itself). Patented processes of chemical ice nucleation are a primary means of carrying out the engineered winter events. Why aren’t so called weather experts willing to acknowledge the massive climate engineering operations and their impacts? Because their paychecks and pensions depend on their denial, the illegal federal gag order on all National Weather Service (NWS) and all National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) employees is a case in point. The 5 minute video below exposes the impacts of ongoing engineered winter scenarios.

It is imperative that populations be awakened to the climate engineering operations. It is just as important that the full scope and scale of these programs are understood. There can be no valid discussion of the climate without addressing the climate engineering issue. Equally true, there can be no legitimate discussion of climate engineering without addressing chemical ice nucleation processes and the engineered winter events these processes help to create. All of us are needed in the essential effort to raise and reach a critical mass of awareness. Share credible data from a credible source, make every day count.
DW

May be freely reprinted, so long as the text is unaltered, all hyperlinks are left intact, and credit for the article is prominently given to GeoengineeringWatch.org and the article’s author with a hyperlink back to the original story.

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Assange rejects Ecuador president’s ‘no death penalty’ deal with UK

assange-rejects-ecuador-president8217s-8216no-death-penalty8217-deal-with-uk

07-12-18 08:55:00,

A lawyer for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange has rejected Ecuador’s offer for the publisher to leave the London embassy under the guarantee that he won’t face the death penalty, leaving open potential criminal persecution.

“The suggestion that as long as the death penalty is off the table, Mr. Assange need not fear persecution is obviously wrong,” Assange’s lawyer, Barry Pollack, told the Telegraph while commenting on the deal with the UK announced by the Ecuador President Lenin Moreno on Thursday.

Also on rt.com
UK has provided ‘guarantees’ Assange won’t be extradited to face death penalty – Ecuador’s president

The agreement envisages certain safeguards for Assange that he won’t face the death penalty if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy in London, which has sheltered the famous fugitive since 2012.

Moreno said that Ecuador had received written assurances from the UK that Assange will not be extradited to any country where he might be put to death. Moreno, who has repeatedly indicated that he would like to get rid of Assange, whom he called “more than a nuisance,” said the deal struck with the UK is “a path” for Assange to “exit into near freedom.”

Read more


© REUTERS / Hannah McKay

Moreno however, did not elaborate on how “near” that freedom would be, considering Assange is still sought in the UK on bail violation charges dating back to 2012. The UK authorities reportedly told Ecuador that the maximum sentence for the minor offence will not exceed six months.

Being spared from capital punishment does not mean that Assange is safe from getting extradited and going on trial in the US for releasing troves of US diplomatic cables – something Pollack is not OK with.

“No one should have to face criminal charges for publishing truthful information,” the lawyer told the Telegraph.

Assange exposed some 750,000 of classified military documents provided by whistleblower Chelsea Manning. The documents shed light on the abuse and indiscriminate killings by US soldiers, among other revealing information about US military practices.

It was recently revealed that Assange has already been charged in the US.

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Lessons from a Century After the Flu Epidemic of 1918: How Conventional Medicine Killed Millions and How Homeopathic Medicines Saved Millions | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

lessons-from-a-century-after-the-flu-epidemic-of-1918-how-conventional-medicine-killed-millions-and-how-homeopathic-medicines-saved-millions-light-on-conspiracies-8211-revealing-the-agenda

07-12-18 08:42:00,

Story at-a-glance

A remarkable 50 million were thought to have died as a result of the influenza epidemic of 1918, 100 years ago, but there is now a better explanation for why so many people died

Aspirin went off patent in 1917, allowing it to be available at cheap prices, and because its former patent owner, Bayer, had worldwide distribution of it, aspirin was available easily and cheaply

Medical associations and governments encouraged people to take aspirin or other fever-suppressing drugs for influenza, even though we today know that fever is an important defensive function in the body’s efforts to fight influenza

Leading medical journals of the day actually recommended using 25 aspirin a day to suppress the fever in patients suffering from influenza. Many of the people who died from influenza were found to have bleeding in the lungs, a strange symptom of the flu and a known side effect from aspirin overdose

Homeopathic physicians had remarkably good success in treating people during the 1918 influenza epidemic. Numerous recent studies published in medical journals have found that the homeopathic medicine, oscillococcinum, is effective in treating influenza

By Dana Ullman, MPH, CCH

Every fall and winter, the media begins pumping stories about why you should be afraid, even very afraid, of the flu. Since 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has asserted that between 12,000 and 56,000 people have died from influenza every year.

In actual fact, according to one of the most respected medical journals in the world, the annual death rate from influenza in the USA is closer to 1,000.1

When you realize that Big Pharma annually spends billions of dollars promoting their immensely profitable drugs on various television and radio news programs, it is no wonder that these news programs “give back” to Big Pharma by using the best marketing tool ever created: instilling “big fear” into people.

And the CDC’s cooperation with these outlandish statistics is simply evidence of the cozy relationship the CDC has with Big Pharma. Big Media inevitably reminds us about the famous flu epidemic of 1918 when supposedly 50 million people died from this ailment. Because this year, 2018, is the 100th anniversary of this major epidemic,

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US tries to stop Ireland banning imports from Israel’s settlements

us-tries-to-stop-ireland-banning-imports-from-israel8217s-settlements

06-12-18 06:28:00,

Veteran US lawmaker Peter King has lobbied against an Irish attempt to ban goods from Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank. 

Bill Clark
CQ Roll Call Photos/Newscom

A prominent US politician has lobbied Irish lawmakers to reject a proposed ban on imports from Israel’s illegal settlements.

Peter King, a member of Congress for New York, is among those who have opposed a bill being debated in Dublin.

Although the bill – aimed at forbidding goods from Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank – seeks to uphold international law, King has depicted it as subversive.

King has tried to convince Fianna Fáil, one of Ireland’s largest parties, to withdraw its support for the proposed ban.

“It is critical that countries and leaders interested in facilitating a lasting peace amongst Israelis and Palestinians not serve to empower the most radical, who have no interest in seeking peace,” King stated in an email message addressed to Fianna Fáil’s team in the Oireachtas, Ireland’s national parliament.

He argued that the proposed ban on settlement goods “does just that by undercutting Palestinians truly interested in peace and empowering Hamas terrorists and recalcitrant Palestinians who refuse even to approach negotiations.”

King’s appeal was made in July and has not been previously reported.

Despite his strong connections with Ireland’s politicians, King could not persuade Fianna Fáil to change its stance. The party’s lawmakers have twice voted in favor of the Occupied Territories Bill, as the proposed ban on settlement goods is known.

Niall Collins, Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on foreign affairs, confirmed that King had been in contact with the party. Collins added that staff from the US embassy in Dublin had visited him “a couple of times,” urging him to oppose the bill.

“Huge issue”

During a trip to the West Bank in the summer, Collins was taken aback by the scale of Israel’s settlement activities.

“I struggle to see how a two-state solution can ever be achieved because of the whole proliferation of the settlements,” Collins told The Electronic Intifada. “The whole West Bank now is so fragmented that I struggle to see how that pipe dream can occur.”

The position taken by Fianna Fáil has proven vital towards having the bill approved by the Seanad,

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Sweden’s Parliamentary Election Crisis

sweden8217s-parliamentary-election-crisis

06-12-18 12:09:00,

Authored by Kent Ekeroth via The Gatestone Institute,

“Sweden has always been extremely stable when it comes to our governments …”and the time it takes to form them.

After the election in 2014 (we have elections every four years) the government took office 19 days later. Until this year, in fact, it has never taken more than 25 days after an election to form a government; the average time is just six days.

Today, however, 86 days have passed since Sweden’s last election without a government having formed – a record by a wide margin.

What changed?

Sweden’s national parliament consists of 349 members, divided in eight parties, of which seven formed blocs:

Socialist bloc:

  • Left Wing party (V): extremely left wing on economic policies, globalism, liberal on immigration. 28 seats.

  • Green party (MP): environmentalist, for raising taxes, extremely liberal on immigration. 16 seats.

  • Social Democrats (S): largest party, historically almost always in power, more to the center than V and MP but still on the left. Also liberal on immigration but less than MP and V. 100 seats.

Liberal bloc (named the Alliance coalition):

  • Center party (C): liberal economic policies which means lowering taxes and making it easier to hire and fire. Extremely liberal on immigration and values (supporting feminism, affirmative action, hate speech laws, gender policies etc). 31 seats.

  • Liberal party (L): similar to Center party. More focus on pro-EU. 20 seats.

  • Christian Democrats (KD): liberal economic policies (lowering taxes, easier to hire and fire etc), a bit more conservative on values and culture (less feminism, affirmative action, gender policies etc). 22 seats.

  • The Moderates (M): the second largest party and historically the party that has competed with the Social Democrats for the post of the prime minister. They are also liberal on economic issues and used to be extremely liberal on immigration. They did, however, change drastically in the last few years, due to the success of the Sweden Democrats. 70 seats.

Social-conservative ‘bloc’:

  • The Sweden Democrats (SD): new kid on the “bloc”.

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How Poppy Bush’s Brother, “Uncle Bucky,” Made A Killing Off The Iraq Wars

how-poppy-bush8217s-brother-8220uncle-bucky8221-made-a-killing-off-the-iraq-wars

06-12-18 09:00:00,

Authored by Jeffrey St.Clair via Counterpunch.org,

Back in 1991, shortly after the depleted uranium-flaked dust had settled some from the first Gulf War, there was a minor tempest in the press over influence peddling by members of President George H. W. Bush’s family, including his son Neil and his brother Prescott, Jr. Both Neil and Prescott, neither of whom had proven to be exceptionally talented businessmen, had made millions by flagrantly trading on their relationship to the president.

Seeking to distinguish himself from his more predatory relatives, William Henry Trotter Bush, the younger brother of Bush Sr. and an investment banker in St. Louis, gave an interview to disclaim any profiteering on his own part. Indeed, he sounded downright grumpy, as if his older brother hadn’t done enough to steer juicy government deals his way.

“Being the brother of George Bush isn’t a financial windfall by any stretch of the imagination,” huffed William H.T. Bush.

Well, perhaps being the brother of the president didn’t generate as much business as he hoped, but having the good fortune to be the uncle of the president certainly appears to have padded the pockets of the man endearingly known to George W. Bush as “Uncle Bucky.”

A few months before his selection as president, Bush’s Uncle Bucky quietly joined the board of a small and struggling St. Louis defense company called Engineered Support Systems, Incorporated (ESSI). Since Bush joined the team, ESSI’s fortunes have taken a dramatic turn for the better. This once obscure outfit is now one of the top Pentagon contractors. Next year its revenues will top $1 billion, nearly all of it derived from defense contracts with the Pentagon or with foreign militaries financed by US aid and loan guarantees. Even sweeter, most of these contracts have been awarded in no bid, sole source deals.

True to form, Uncle Bucky claims that ESSI’s amazing transformation has nothing to do with him or his nephew, the president.

“I don’t make any calls to the 202 (DC) Area Code,” Bush sneered to the Los Angeles Times.

Uncle Buck’s characteristic modesty was swiftly undercut by statements made by top executives at ESSI,

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Paul Craig Roberts Laments The Disintegration Of Western Society

paul-craig-roberts-laments-the-disintegration-of-western-society

06-12-18 08:57:00,

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

Radical feminists are now being banned by Twitter not because they hate men, which is perfectly OK as far as Twitter is concerned, but because they object to “transwomen.”

What is a “transwoman?” As far as I can understand, a “transwoman” is a male with a penis who declares himself to be a women and demands his right to use women’s toilette facilities anong with the women who are using them.

The feminist, Meghan Murphy, twittered a statement and a question:

“Men are not women.”

“How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between men and transwomen?”

Twitter described this as “hateful conduct” and banned Meghan Murphy.

There you have it. Yesterday it was feminists who were exercising their special society-bestowed privileges to censor. Today it is the feminists who are being censored. As this insanity of “Western Civilization” continues, tomorrow it will be the transwomen who are censored and banned.

What precisely is afoot?

My readers, who have partially and some wholely escaped from The Matrix, understand that this is the further fragmentation of American society. Identity Politics has set men, women, blacks, Jews, Asians, Hispanics, and white people against one another.

Identity Politics is the essence of the Democratic Party and the American liberal/progressive/left. Now, with the creation of “new” but otherwise nonexistent “genders,” although they are honored as real by the controlled whores who masquerade as a “Western media,” we witness radical feminists being silenced by men pretending to be women.

I sympathize with Meghan Murphy, but she brought this on herself and on the rest of us by accepting Identity Politics. Identity Politics gave Meghan a justification for hating men even, as she failed to realize, it provided the basis for moving her into the exploitative class that must be censored.

Where does this end?

It has already gone far enough that the American population is so divided and mutually hostile that there is no restraint by “the American people” on government and the elite oligarchs that rule.

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Global Warming Enthusiasts are really believe the Malthusian Trap – Modern Witch Doctor Analysis | Armstrong Economics

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06-12-18 08:39:00,

COMMENT: Dear Martin,

You have pointed out several times that the agenda behind the global warming crowd is, besides taxes, also the reduction of the global population. Initially, I had difficulties believing in this “crazy conspiracy theory”, but I start to believe you could be right. Where I live, The Netherlands, the brainwashing machine to convince people that CO2 is THE problem, is on overdrive and very effective. More and more people are believing this non-sense and regularly start to claim that the world population should decrease because we are one of the main sources of the increase of CO2 concentrations. When you ask them how that should be accomplished they reply “birth control”. But how this should be done they don´t know, but most probably (as usual) rely on the government to come up with a solution. Furthermore, couldn´t it be that the promoters of global warming (IPCC et al) actually know that CO2 is NOT the problem but by feeding us the propaganda, they actually catch two flies in one blow: increased taxes and reduction of the population because the majority will not be prepared for the upcoming cold/famine.

What is your opinion? Is this a crazy conspiracy theory or is there a chance it could be true?

Best regards,

SG

REPLY: I am not one for conspiracy theories. My reporting on this subject is not even SPECULATION or a wild IMAGINATION. I was at the White House dinner and was seated at a table of ten with the heads of environmental groups. I cannot get my head around how these people think. They DO NOT believe in Global Warming or CO2. They are using this to reduce the population. Ever since Thomas Malthus (1766 – 1834), the English cleric, wrote his 1798 book An Essay on the Principle of Population, he set in motion this diehard school of thought that the population would exceed the food production and society was doomed. He also never accounted for (1) cycles in population, (2) cycles in disease (plagues), and (3) improvements in technology in the production of food.

The Global Warming people are really closet believers in the “Malthusian trap” and they have been lobbying the government to overregulate society to prevent construction and thereby reduce population growth. 

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South Korea’s Candlelight Revolution and the Future of the Korean Peninsula | Asia-Pacific Research

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06-12-18 08:27:00,

Opening remarks

The year 2018 has witnessed extraordinary changes in the Korean peninsula.1 So many, in fact, that the initial amazement may have worn off a little, and discontent with the pace of change may have set in. But even a brief recapitulation of major occurrences will remind us what an amazing year it has been.

The year began with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s New Year Address in which he promised DPRK participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games and proposed a new beginning in inter-Korean relations. North Korean athletes and artists did come to the Games, along with a high-level official delegation that met with President Moon Jae-in and other important South Korean officials. But a truly historic breakthrough occurred at the April 27 meeting of the two leaders in Panmunjom, producing the Panmunjom Declaration, which promised a drastic improvement in North-South relations and full denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The meeting, though filled with dramatic moments, was more business-like than the two previous inter-Korean summits (of 2000 and 2007), yet the informal and business-like atmosphere, with live television coverage of much of the event, had an even greater impact on popular consciousness in South Korea and abroad. This was presumably the case in North Korea too, though without live coverage there, viewers received only an ample broadcast of taped scenes.

Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump at the Singapore summit

The US-DPRK summit in Singapore on June 12, the first ever between the two countries, was another historic breakthrough. In their Joint Statement the two leaders promised to work for a new relationship between the hitherto hostile countries, while Chairman Kim reaffirmed his commitment to full denuclearization. I shall come back later to the meaning of the Singapore agreement, but I should note that between the first Moon-Kim meeting and the Singapore summit a second inter-Korean summit occurred in Panmunjom in May, after Trump suddenly canceled the scheduled Singapore meeting. The two Korean leaders met, quite business-like and unannounced, for an emergency consultation to get the negotiation process moving again.

While progress in US-DPRK relations has been limited—though stopping joint US-ROK military exercises must mean a lot more to the DPRK than they publicly acknowledge—unprecedented events have continued to transpire between two Koreas.

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Facebook Struck Secret Deals To Sell Preferential User Data; Undermined Rivals Per Leaked Emails

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05-12-18 07:35:00,

A top UK lawmaker said on Wednesday that Facebook maintained secretive “whitelisting agreements” with select companies that would give them preferential access to vast amounts of user data, after the parliamentary committee released documents which had been sealed by a California court, reports Bloomberg

The documents – obtained in a sealed California lawsuit and leaked to the UK lawmaker during a London business trip, include internal emails involving CEO Mark Zuckerberg – and led committee chair Damian Collins to conclude that Facebook gave select companies preferential access to valuable user data for their apps, while shutting off access to data used by competing apps. Facebook also allegedly conducted global surveys of mobile app usage by customers – likely without their knowledge, and that “a change to Facebook’s Android app policy resulted in call and message data being recorded was deliberately made difficult for users to know about,” according to Bloomberg.

In one email, dated Feb. 4, 2015, a Facebook engineer said a feature of the Android Facebook app that would “continually upload” a user’s call and SMS history would be a “high-risk thing to do from a PR perspective.” A subsequent email suggests users wouldn’t need to be prompted to give permission for this feature to be activated. –Bloomberg

The emails also reveal that Zuckerberg personally approved limiting hobbling Twitter’s Vine video-sharing tool by preventing users from finding their friends on Facebook. 

In one email, dated Jan. 23 2013, a Facebook engineer contacted Zuckerberg to say that rival Twitter Inc. had launched its Vine video-sharing tool, which users could connect to Facebook to find their friends there. The engineer suggested shutting down Vine’s access to the friends feature, to which Zuckerberg replied, “Yup, go for it.”

“We don’t feel we have had straight answers from Facebook on these important issues, which is why we are releasing the documents,” said Collins in a Twitter post accompanying the published emails. –Bloomberg

We don’t feel we have had straight answers from Facebook on these important issues, which is why we are releasing the documents.

— Damian Collins (@DamianCollins) December 5, 2018

Thousands of digital documents were passed to Collins on a London business trip by Ted Kramer,

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