Paving the Road to the End of NATO

Paving the Road to the End of NATO

04-09-18 10:36:00,

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss a recent Reuters report with a headline making an incredible claim of human rights abuse from the Chinese government: “U.N. says it has credible reports that China holds million Uighurs in secret camps.”

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Turns out this headline was false. The United Nations stated it never said such a thing, or made such a claim.

Reuters and just about every mainstream media publication and television network picked up on the story and reported it as fact. No retraction has been submitted by Reuters, or any other news publication for that matter.

As Ajit Singh from Global Research writes, “one American member of an independent UN body made a provocative claim that China was interning 1 million Muslims, but failed to provide a single named source. And Reuters and the Western corporate media ran with it anyway, attributing the unsubstantiated allegations of one US individual to the UN as a whole.”

“No, the UN Did Not Report China Has ‘Massive Internment Camps’ for Uighur Muslims,” via Global Research

Numerous major media outlets, from Reuters to The Intercept, have claimed that the United Nations has reports that the Chinese government is holding as many as 1 million Uighur Muslims in “internment camps.” But a close examination of these news stories, and of the evidence behind them — or the lack thereof — demonstrates that the extraordinary claim is simply not true.

A spokesperson from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) confirmed in a statement to the Grayzone that the allegation of Chinese “camps” was not made by the United Nations, but rather by a member of an independent committee that does not speak for the UN as a whole. That member happened to be the only American on the committee, and one with no background of scholarship or research on China.

Moreover, this accusation is based on the thinly sourced reports of a Chinese opposition group that receives funding from foreign governments and is closely tied to exiled pro-US activists. While there have been many on-the-ground reports highlighting discrimination that Uighur Muslims have faced at the hands of the Chinese authorities,

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Whoops: US anti-ISIS envoy reveals truth about Idlib (Video)

Whoops: US anti-ISIS envoy reveals truth about Idlib (Video)

03-09-18 07:31:00,

Americans are immersed in a culture that is steeped with war dramas. If there is not a real war to depict, it is common to create a drama from a “what if?” style of fantasy. In that regard, American cinema is well-supplied with movies about Russia, the Soviet Union, the Cold War and possible alternate histories.

Do these titles look familiar?

  • The Hunt for Red October
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Thirteen Days
  • Rocky IV
  • Crimson Tide
  • The Day After
  • Red Dawn (1984)
  • WarGames
  • Rambo
  • Threads
  • Dr Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

A similar sense exists in the American literary scene, with books like Red Storm Rising, 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World, Cardinal of the Kremlin, Invader, Alas Babylon, On the Beach, Lord of the Flies, and many, many others. All of these books, some of them not American, but still Western, infuse the Western culture with one main basic idea:

Communism is an enemy ideology. Russia is / was the world’s largest and most powerful Communist nation. Therefore, Russia is an enemy of the West, and regardless of any different developments in history, Russia is not to be trusted.

Taken in this context, Russiagate and its associated controversies and sanctions are not anything new for the United States, because Russia has “never been trustworthy” and so this is “how we deal with these untrustworthy people.”

The news rhetoric has been almost 100% unanimous on this point, and American political figures appear to be either lost in the belief that this is true, or afraid to give any rebuttal or correction to it. All except Senator Rand Paul and President Donald Trump at this point.

But what about in Russia? Do the Russian people feel the same way about the Americans? Was there such a framework for literature and cinema in the Russian culture both in the Soviet times and since? This is a point whose answer is somewhat elusive to many Westerners,

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International Day of the “Disappeared”. Washington’s “Dirty War” and Latin America’s “Desaparecidos” | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

International Day of the “Disappeared”. Washington’s “Dirty War” and Latin America’s “Desaparecidos” | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

03-09-18 04:13:00,

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above 

This August 30th marks the International Day of the Disappeared, initiated by the Latin American Federation of Associations of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared, FEDEFAM, an organization founded in 1981 at the height of US-backed state terrorism throughout Latin America. On this day, SOA Watch salutes the thousands of families who continue their unwavering search for their disappeared and celebrates the trials that continue to take place in spite of a legacy of terror and impunity that seeks to silence the demands for justice. Today is a day we are reminded to confront silence, complicity and impunity with memory as resistance.

Disappearances as a systematic practice occured throughout all of Latin America under the National Security Doctrine implemented during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. We uplift the voices of the people of Latin America and the Caribbean and echo their clamor for justice, and we continue to denounce the role of the School of the Americas for its responsibility in the disappearance of thousands of people between 1960 and today.We also echo the call for the appearance, alive, of the disappeared and remember that disappearances as a systematic practice continue to this day, and this crime against humanity is perpetuated every day a person does not appear.

https://i2.wp.com/popularresistance-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2018/08/unnamed-3-e1535647449166.jpg?resize=720%2C414&ssl=1

Source: School of Americas Watch

In Guatemala, relatives continue to demand justice for their more than 45,000 disappeared, both in the streets and in the courts; in Argentina, after 41 years, Grandmothers and Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo keep marching, wearing their white handkerchiefs, demanding the right to truth and justice; in Uruguay and Chile, the demands for truth and justice continue, and the people of Chile now fight for the end of jail privileges for the few military officers serving time in the Punta Peuco prison; in Mexico, where one person is disappeared every two hours, the historic demand “they were taken alive, we want them back alive” continues, and the people who continue to walk alongside the families of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, also demand the appearance of the more than 37,000 people disappeared since the beginning of the US-backed War on Drugs in 2007, and maintain the memory of the more than 70 thousand migrants and refugees disappeared since 2005 as a consequence of US-Border Imperialism strategies;

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This Is Why Glyphosate Is Sprayed On Crops Right Before Harvest | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

This Is Why Glyphosate Is Sprayed On Crops Right Before Harvest | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

03-09-18 01:13:00,

Most people do not realize how much pesticide is actually sprayed on the food they ingest before it makes its way to their plate. While you might not realize that pesticides are sprayed all over many crops just before harvest, it is something you need to make yourself aware of.

Glyphosate is sprayed all over all kinds of crops before harvest, and as you may know, is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. Roundup is easily the world’s most well known and well-used weed killer. It is used on things like wheat, oats, and so forth. Glyphosate is not something we should be using at all, yet it is sprayed all over the things we eat, why is this?

Glyphosate is listed as a possible carcinogen and can cause a whole host of health issues for us all. There is a growing body of research against it and it has been linked with far more things than you could ever imagine. Not only does it cause damage to your DNA, it also causes birth defects.

Now, glyphosate is sprayed on crops because it allows the farmers to begin harvesting sooner. It speeds up the drying process and also keeps it drying evenly. There has been a huge increase in the use of glyphosate in the past ten years. This growing as things like GMO corn and so forth are expanding rapidly. Through killing their crops with glyphosate farmers are able to accelerate things.

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Meet the Pentagon employee who exposed CIA spy inside Trump campaign (Video)

Meet the Pentagon employee who exposed CIA spy inside Trump campaign (Video)

03-09-18 12:59:00,

A former Pentagon employee uncovered a long history of questionable behavior by an FBI informant deeply tied into the Trump-Russia collusion hoax.

The FBI informant was Stefan Halper, who was also a CIA spy charged with infiltrating the Trump campaign while working as a professor in the UK…and who was also getting paid one million dollars to write foreign policy papers for the US Department of State.

Those must have beed some valuable foreign policy papers to be worth a cool $1 mil.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss an explosive report from journalist Sara Carter, which exposes the deep state’s secret weapon, Stefan Halper, and a whistleblower in the Pentagon who threatened to expose the truth about the Trump-Russia collusion narrative being plotted…it was all a set-up to frame Trump.

Adam Lovinger, a former Defense Department analyst, never expected that what he stumbled on during his final months at the Pentagon would expose an integral player in the FBI’s handling of President Donald Trump’s campaign and alleged Russia collusion.

Lovinger, a whistleblower, is now battling to save his career. The Pentagon suspended his top-secret security clearance May 1, 2017, when he exposed through an internal review that Stefan Halper, who was then an emeritus Cambridge professor, had received roughly $1 million in tax-payer funded money to write Defense Department foreign policy reports, his attorney Sean Bigley said. Before Lovinger’s clearance was suspended he had taken a detail to the National Security Council as senior director for strategy. He was only there for five months before he was recalled to the Pentagon, stripped of his prestigious White House detail, and ordered to perform bureaucratic make-work in a Pentagon annex Bigley calls “the land of misfit toys.” His security clearance was eventually revoked in March 2018, despite the Pentagon “refusing to turn over a single page of its purported evidence of Lovinger’s wrongdoing,” Bigley stated. Conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch, recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Defense Department to obtain the withheld records.

Lovinger also raised concerns about Halper’s role in conducting what appeared to be diplomatic meetings with foreigners on behalf of the U.S. government because his role as contractor forbids him from doing so, according to U.S. federal law.

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Land of Extraction: How Prison Industry Settled in Central Appalachia

Land of Extraction: How Prison Industry Settled in Central Appalachia

02-09-18 03:02:00,

Politics & Elections

Deporting US Citizens: Trump’s New Fascistic Use of Law

Economy & Labor

The Devil’s in the Details: NAFTA Puts Trump in a Political Pickle

Human Rights

Audience and Authority in the UK Asylum-Seeking Process

Politics & Elections

Trump’s Disapproval Hits Record High After Manafort and Cohen News

Economy & Labor

Trump Proposes $100 Billion Gift to Richest 1 Percent

Environment & Health

Aboriginal Elders Face Off With Uranium Mining Company in the Australian Outback

Driving the roads of any small coal town settled within the central Appalachian Mountains, it is easy to see the beauty of the landscape. However, this beauty is concealed by lasting embodiments of capitalist ideals, including rusting coal tipples or large swaths of mountains destroyed by mountain top removal mining, built on the bodies of the region’s inhabitants who have been continually abandoned and exploited. Well documented is the level of destruction and exploitation residents continue to face following over a century of reliance on the coal industry.

Less evident is the alarming shift in the idea of “extraction” taking place. As mining operations in the area continue to fade, prisons now fill the void. This expansion furthers a level of labor exploitation documented since the earliest days of colonial practices in the United States. The mining industry capitalized on the external ownership of the region’s resources, forcing the population into a state of constant economic precariousness. Maintaining a high level of economic control dissuaded potential non-coal-related wealth from entering the area, demanding Appalachians rely on the industry as a singular economic savior. This economic dominance perpetuates the institutionalized generational poverty in the region, and supports the construction of demonstrative labels for the purpose of maintaining such control.

To some outsiders, this population falsely represents a region of “trash” used for the progress of others. Research documents the existing intra-racial tension housed in the white population of Central Appalachia. The use of the term “trash” in tandem with the power and privilege associated with “whiteness” creates a historical anomaly for the purpose of cultural separation. The connation of such language forces these individuals to the edges of the construction of “whiteness” and labels them as a lesser working class.

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People Living in their Cars in California? | Armstrong Economics

People Living in their Cars in California? | Armstrong Economics

02-09-18 07:30:00,

A very interesting issue has emerged in California. The price of real estate rose so high that the median price for a home reached $600,000 and the price was just too high. Consequently, people began to take up residence sleeping in their cars. A recent article looked at the issue and found that 15,000 people live in cars, vans, and RVs in Los Angeles alone. They were citing the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. This was just LA alone. Real Estate is starting to crash in California because (1) it exceeded the cost of the average person, and (2) taxes are rising and that further reduces the net disposable income. It is not just the price of the house, as taxes rise they reduce the take-home pay and thus the price of a house after taxes rises even faster. These two trends are colliding and this is why California real estate has begun to decline.

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Pat Buchanan: A Cancer On The Papacy

Pat Buchanan: A Cancer On The Papacy

01-09-18 09:14:00,

Authored by Justin Raimondo via AntiWar.com:

The media continues to get the President’s North Korean peace initiative all wrong: in some cases this is due to laziness, Washington-centric group-think, and just plain ignorance. In other cases, it is quite deliberate. Take, for example, the recent “news” that Trump canceled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s scheduled trip to Pyongyang due to a “belligerent” letter sent by the North Koreans to the White House. What is the source of this alleged development? A single report in the Washington Post put out there by one Josh Rogin, not a reporter but an opinion columnist with strong neoconservative inclinations. Rogin attributes this information to “two senior administration officials” while admitting that “[t]he exact contents of the message are unclear.”

We don’t know what the letter said, and so we don’t know why Trump canceled the trip. In short, we don’t know anything. That’s the “news,” folks.

So what really happened? Why the cancellation?

We can’t know for certain, of course, since these things are usually kept under wraps, and yet we can speculate if we have the right context, which is something none of these esteemed Korea “experts” and “analysts” – who are often proxies for special interests – provide. What we usually get is either complete misinformation, as in the case of the “belligerent letter,” or else a priori speculation along the lines of “Why would Kim Jong-un give up his nuclear weapons after seeing what happened to Qaddafi?”

A priori arguments are fine in the realm of economics, but they don’t work at all in the foreign policy realm. We need empirical evidence, and to get that it’s necessary to penetrate a famously opaque North Korea and get a handle on what Kim and the rest of the North Korean leadership want to get out of the negotiations. And, more importantly, we have to ask ourselves how well do the lords of Pyongyang understand the dynamics of American politics, which will ultimately determine US policy?

The answer to this last question, it turns out, is pretty damn well, if the North Korean media is any indication. As reported in one of the few reliable news sources that specialize in North Korea,

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Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, September 1, 2018, #160

Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, September 1, 2018, #160

01-09-18 08:12:00,

Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, September 1, 2018, #160

Dane Wigington
GeoengineeringWatch.org

The changes unfolding on our planet are profound and many. How much longer can the epidemic of normalcy bias be maintained? When the facade of the current paradigm can no longer be sustained the forced awakening of the masses will commence. The latest installment of Global Alert News is below.

How many have chosen to believe the lie that we are helpless against those in power? How many have chosen to believe that there is nothing we can do to change the world? We must collectively abandon the lies while we summon all the strength and courage we possess, we must make our voices heard.
DW

Our thanks to Mike Torrence for continuing with his efforts to raise awareness at the Tonasket farmer’s market in Washington State (8/30/18).

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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UN Investigation Finds “Genocidal Intent” in Myanmar

UN Investigation Finds “Genocidal Intent” in Myanmar

01-09-18 08:02:00,

Politics & Elections

Deporting US Citizens: Trump’s New Fascistic Use of Law

Economy & Labor

The Devil’s in the Details: NAFTA Puts Trump in a Political Pickle

Human Rights

Audience and Authority in the UK Asylum-Seeking Process

Politics & Elections

Trump’s Disapproval Hits Record High After Manafort and Cohen News

Economy & Labor

Trump Proposes $100 Billion Gift to Richest 1 Percent

Environment & Health

Aboriginal Elders Face Off With Uranium Mining Company in the Australian Outback

After 10,000 Rohingya deaths and hundreds of thousands of exiles, a new United Nations report has found signs of “genocidal intent” in Myanmar, where the military has been persecuting the Rohingya Muslim minority.

The UN is calling for trials in the case of the prime offenders, including a group of generals — Soe Win, Aung Kyaw Zaw, Maung Maung Soe, Aung Aung and Than Oo — as well as the commander-in-chief.

Advocates have been warning that the situation in Myanmar appears to be approaching “ethnic cleansing” or “genocide,” but this report codifies the work of an independent fact-finding commission for the international community.

The members of the team have worked for over a year to document activities in Myanmar and beyond, and their evidence collection includes interviews as well as visual records. Their report was filed without official access to Myanmar, as the government refused to cooperate.

While international leaders may have had an excuse for failing to act before these atrocities came to light, this document puts pressure on them to hold Myanmar’s government and military accountable for continued human rights abuses.

The military has been claiming for years that it is engaged in routine operations to protect national security. Human rights advocates — and now the UN — maintain that this is clearly not the case. Instead, the Rohingya are being subjected to a targeted campaign of harassment and murder.

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Myanmar’s military is burning down villages,

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A Month of FalseFlags | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

A Month of FalseFlags | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

01-09-18 08:00:00,

September newsletter has just been sent out and as always packed with photos, videos and much more…

Some of the headlines here.

• THE ITALIAN MORANDI BRIDGE ‘COLLAPSE’

Was it an accident, a badly repaired bridge – or state-sponsored sabotage?

• ANOTHER PARLIAMENT CAR ATTACK, UK

An official video of how it happened. Please notice all other vehicles.

• CHINA’S FIRST VEHICLE ATTACK

• PREDICTED MANCHESTER ATTACK, UK

On August 11, I warned about a possible upcoming falseflag. And on the very next day August 12; ‘an attempted multiple murder’

• LONDON KINGSBURY TUBE SHOOTING

• THE GREENWICH HAMMER ATTACK

• QUADRUPEL CAMBERWELL STABBINGS, UK

• THE JACKSONVILLE GAMER’S SHOOTING

Yet another ‘lone crazy guy’ shooting in Florida

• SEVERAL ALLEGED ATTACKS IN FRANCE

• MORE SHOES – THE ICON OF DEATH

View Newsletter

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About Author

Ole Dammegard was born in Denmark and raised in Sweden, grew up believing he lived in a free and democratic society. As he started to investigate the political assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, he noticed there were some very strange and glaring similarities in these two cases. Since that time, Ole has investigated many other political assassinations, deaths of musicians and false flag events, and has shown the common thread behind them all: the New World Order Agenda. Ole’s aim is to spread this information and to promote a stance of “no-fear”, of peace and recovery from the atrocities and trauma that we have been subjected to for so many years. We are many, they are SO few. Shine the light on these conspiracies, get involved and transcend this evil agenda so we can get on with this amazing and beautiful life.

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Trump and Understanding the Root Causes of Violence in Palestine/Israel | New Eastern Outlook

Trump and Understanding the Root Causes of Violence in Palestine/Israel | New Eastern Outlook

01-09-18 07:28:00,

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Conflict is like everything else – people get labels assigned to them based on their supposed political party, even though those parties do not represent the best interests of their base. Therefore, in the light of the meltdown over Palestine, and the number of Jewish-loving born again Christians, especially in the United States, it is high time to take a closer look at what the roots of the current violence is—not an easy undertaking.

Most pundits and politicians are so involved in discussing the political and funding side of the Arab-Israeli conflict that they are unwilling to accept that its root cause is land and not religion. It is like beating a drum—and Trump claims that he has merely accepted what was already a reality, as Jerusalem is functionally the capital of Israel.

Not so simple

I am reminded of one of my former graduate students in academic writing, who wanted to write a paper on the Arab-Israeli Conflict and was surprised when I told her that the topic was too large. I explained that it would keep her busy for the rest of her life, and how she needed to find something more focused to get her assignment done.

Naively, the young girl, from a country with its own rich history of Jewish culture and community, asked me… “then what are they fighting about.”

I told her the conflict was not about religion, as Jews, Arabs and Christians were all able to live side-by-side, as it was part of [our] religion to get along. It was not until the UN decided to decant the remnant of Jews in Europe to an artificial state it had set up itself, based on the mess the British had left in their Palestine Mandate, that the trouble had begun. “It is all over land and who has the most right to it.”

This view may be an oversimplification, but it gets to the crux of the matter. Alan Dowty, Professor of Government and International Studies and Fellow of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, confirms this: “The core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the claim of two peoples to the same piece of land.”

However,

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WATCH: Interview With One of Brazil’s Leading Presidential Candidates, Ciro Gomes

WATCH: Interview With One of Brazil’s Leading Presidential Candidates, Ciro Gomes

31-08-18 03:54:00,

Brazil’s October 7 presidential election is rapidly approaching, and perhaps its most remarkable aspect is the utter lack of clarity about the likely outcome. The world’s fifth-most populous country is mired in so many sustained and entrenched crises — economic, political, judicial, cultural, and an endless corruption scandal — that all previous rules for understanding political dynamics seem obsolete. And for that reason, and several others, the dynamic of Brazil’s presidential race has international relevance: it illustrates the chaos and extremism that can ensue when a large sector of the population, for valid reasons, loses all faith in institutions of authority and in the political class.

(Igo Estrela/Getty Images)

Mixed into all of those crises is enduring anger, and growing regret, over the 2016 impeachment of the elected center-left President Dilma Rousseff, in favor of a center-right coalition that has proven to be criminally corrupt, led by an installed President Michel Temer (pictured, right), who

got caught on tape

ordering bribes to silence witnesses yet was protected from investigation by the same Congress that impeached Dilma in the name of fighting corruption. Temer is now, far and away,

the most unpopular president in Brazil’s history

.

The head of the center-right party who was backed by the establishment in the 2014 election and almost beat Dilma, Sen. Aécio Neves, has since been caught receiving bribes and even suggesting violence against witnesses. Disgraced even within his own party, Neves is running for a seat in the lower House just to stay out of prison (federal lawmakers in Brazil are immune from criminal prosecution while in office), and recently launched that desperate campaign to a crowd of 20 people. Meanwhile, in a cruel irony, Dilma is running for the Senate seat Aécio was forced to vacate, and polls show her likely to win (provided her candidacy isn’t banned by the judiciary).

Add to all of that the bizarre fact that the clear poll leader — Lula, the country’s former two-term president — is virtually certain to have his candidacy judicially barred due to the fact that he’s currently in prison after a criminal corruption conviction: the result of a judicial process that even many of his critics who believe him to be corrupt regard as a highly flawed and politically motivated trial and appeal.

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So DID the Guardian back war on Iraq?

So DID the Guardian back war on Iraq?

31-08-18 12:29:00,

Philip Roddis

If I and a hundred likeminded others devoted ourselves 24/7 to rebutting the drivel above and below the line in the Guardian, we couldn’t make a dent. It would be like despatching midges, in August on a Highland bog, by crushing them one by one between thumb and forefinger.

So I seldom bother. But a few instances this year have seen me obliged to make some sort of response to twaddle too egregious to let pass. One was Matthew d’Ancona’s smug desire to see market forces rein in the purveyors of ‘fake news’ via the kitemarking of such online crusaders for truth as Full Fact, led by tory party donor Michael Samuels.

The other two were below the line. In an exchange with one btl commentator, back in April and over – what else? – Syria, I was told the idea of oil being a factor in the invasion of Iraq had been ‘thoroughly debunked’. I felt it incumbent, though it’s generally easier on such matters to spout nonsense than refute it, to put him straight on this small point.

More recently a commentator correctly asserted that the Guardian had supported the invasion of Iraq. This drew flat contradiction from another to the effect that, au contraire,  the Graun had opposed the war. I let it pass but, for reasons too mundane to test your patience with, it popped into my head today between lunch and walking the woofer.

A click or two of the mouse and here we are: an Observer editorial (pedants note, Observer is a sister of The Guardian within Guardian Media Group) of Sunday, January 19, 2003. Its title? Iraq: the case for decisive action. The case, not to put too fine a point on things, for a war which – sanctions having already killed 500,000 children – proceeded with Shock And Awe to:

  • blast Iraq with depleted uranium (aka chemical warfare) …
  • snuff out the lives – and I’m being ultra conservative here – of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians …
  • stoke the flames of Salafist terror …
  • give us the infamies of Abu Ghraib …
  • and – because,

 » Lees verder

Italian Minister Savona Wants Italy To Withdraw From The ‘Funk 1940’ Plan: The Euro

Italian Minister Savona Wants Italy To Withdraw From The ‘Funk 1940’ Plan: The Euro

31-08-18 08:41:00,

Via GEFIRA,

Italy’s economic growth is decelerating, which is even more inevitable in view of the country’s population decline. It looks as if the Italian business cycle had reached its peak in 2017, with a meagre 1.5% growth rate, and is now receding. 

Within ten years, Italy will have business cycles with only negative highs and lows. Unemployment is at 10% and it cannot be tackled because Rome is prohibited by the European Union from following the Japanese monetary and fiscal policies to counter the financial fallout as a result of a declining population. Italian academia still believes that replacing the highly-efficient European workforce with Africans will stimulate future economic growth. Italy appears to have been deliberately flooded by Africans, while white workers from Italy are moving to Germany and the Netherlands.

Paolo Savona, the new Italian Minister of Economic Affairs, believes that Germany is executing the 1940 Walther Funk plan. Walther Funk was Director of the Bank of International Settlements and, in 1939, Hitler appointed him as the President of the Reichsbank. He laid down his views in a 2012 letter to his German and Italian friends.

“The Funk Plan, provided for national currencies to converge into the German mark’s area and this is what you would like and have partially achieved,” Paolo Savona wrote. “It also envisaged,” he continued, “that industrial development only pertained to yourselves and that you would only be accompanied by France, your historical ally, a solution now caused by the common European market and the single currency. The Plan wanted other countries to devote themselves to agriculture and tourist services, something that will happen out of necessity or because of a natural ‘calling’ and they will lend skilled labour to your leadership project.”

As it is, Paolo Savona, a representative of the Italian establishment, expressed the feeling of a big part of the Italian elite.

The establishment is divided over how to solve Italy’s demographic and economic problems. Matteo Renzi, previous Italian Prime Minister, believed that he could save the country by letting in hundreds of thousands of undocumented Africans. To show that they are committed to repopulate Italy with Africans, the Italian establishment appointed a Congo-born African woman as their Minister for Integration in 2013,

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US Military Presence In Africa: All Over Continent And Still Expanding

US Military Presence In Africa: All Over Continent And Still Expanding

31-08-18 06:13:00,

Authored by Arkady Savitsky via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Around 200,000 US troops are stationed in 177 countries throughout the world. Those forces utilize several hundred military installations. Africa is no exception. On August 2, Maj. Gen. Roger L. Cloutier took command of US Army Africa, promising to “hit the ground running.”

The US is not waging any wars in Africa but it has a significant presence on the continent. Navy SEALs, Green Berets, and other special ops are currently conducting nearly 100 missions across 20 African countries at any given time, waging secret, limited-scale operations. According to the magazine Vice, US troops are now conducting 3,500 exercises and military engagements throughout Africa per year, an average of 10 per day — an astounding 1,900% increase since the command rolled out 10 years ago. Many activities described as “advise and assist” are actually indistinguishable from combat by any basic definition.

There are currently roughly 7,500 US military personnel, including 1,000 contractors, deployed in Africa. For comparison, that figure was only 6,000 just a year ago. The troops are strung throughout the continent spread across 53 countries. There are 54 countries on the “Dark Continent.” More than 4,000 service members have converged on East Africa. The US troop count in Somalia doubled last year.

When AFRICOM was created there were no plans to establish bases or put boots on the ground. Today, a network of small staging bases or stations have cropped up. According to investigative journalist Nick Turse, “US military bases (including forward operating sites, cooperative security locations, and contingency locations) in Africa number around fifty, at least.” US troops in harm’s way in Algeria, Burundi, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan Tunisia, and Uganda qualify for extra pay.

The US African Command (AFRICOM) runs drone surveillance programs, cross-border raids, and intelligence. AFRICOM has claimed responsibility for development, public health, professional and security training, and other humanitarian tasks.

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Bizarre Israeli Analyses of Syrian Curriculum Circulate in the Middle East | New Eastern Outlook

Bizarre Israeli Analyses of Syrian Curriculum Circulate in the Middle East | New Eastern Outlook

30-08-18 05:28:00,

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My friend, a senior UN official based in Amman, Jordan, recently received a newsletter from an Israeli institution – “IMPACT-se”. Their report was called, ‘modestly’, “Reformulating School Textbooks During the Civil War”.

It is full of analyses of the Syrian curriculum.

Interesting stuff, without any doubt: Manipulative, negative, but interesting. It made it to many other places in the Middle East; to Lebanon, for instance, where even the word “Israel” is hardly ever pronounced.

Predictably, being compiled in Israel, the report trashes Syria, its ideology, and the determined anti-imperialist stand of President al-Assad.

However, that may backfire. Excerpts that are quoted from the Syrian curriculum would impress both education experts, as well as the general public, if they were to get their hands and eyes on them. And I am trying to facilitate precisely that, in this essay.

What the report found outrageous and deplorable, others could find very reasonable and positive. Let’s read, here is what the “IMPACT-se” is quoting, while ringing alarm bells:

“Saddam Hussein took power, and his period witnessed a number of wars in the Arab Gulf area. The first was with Iran, called the First Gulf War (1980–88), which occurred through incitement by the US, in order to weaken both countries. History, Grade 12, 2017–18, p. 105.”

Well put, isn’t it? But it gets much better, philosophically. Imagine, this brilliant intellectual stuff is actually served to all Syrian children in their public schools, while in Europe and North America; kids are fed with neo-colonialist mainstream propaganda. No wonder that Syrian children are much better versed in what is happening in the world. No wonder that millions of Syrian refugees are now ready to return home, after the abuse they received abroad, and after realizing how indoctrinated and brainwashed by Western propaganda, the people all over the world are.

“IMPACT-se” continues quoting the Syrian curriculum, naively thinking that the words engraved there, will terrify the entire world:

“This competition and struggle worsened as the capitalist system developed and new occupying forces such as the US, took control over international politics. It exploited its scientific, technological, economic and military supremacy in order to expand its influence and [gain] control over the capabilities of the peoples of the world.

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Trump Orders Pay-Freeze For All Non-Military Federal Employees In 2019

Trump Orders Pay-Freeze For All Non-Military Federal Employees In 2019

30-08-18 05:24:00,

Are you suggesting that federal workers should pay into a pension fund without getting it? Are you suggesting that that would put them on a level playing field with the dual-earner, family-friendly / absenteeism-friendly crony parents who inhabit most of the decent-paying jobs in the corporate world—the only ones with extra money to sock away in 401ks?  

The dual-earner parents are the only ones who do not have to use their 401k money to cover rent between churn jobs since they have spousal income. 

I don’t see the difference between the highly paid federal employees and the highly paid, womb-privileged corporate employees.

It is as easy to maintain a 401k over time if you are an above-firing crony parent in a corporate job, with ample spousal income, as it is to hold a job in a situation where you can take off frequent mornings, days, afternoons and weeks beyond PTO and preggie leave without meeting quotas.

Do those corporate employees pay into 401ks without getting anything out of it?

I don’t think so. I see them covering posh zip-code houses, mortgages on second homes, private schools for the kiddos, fine dining out every week and 9 two-week vavations for busy-working parents per year, plus PTO and pregnancy leave, while contributing to their 401ks without missing a small or large luxury. 

Or, are you comparing apples and oranges?

Are you comparing dual-earner crony parents, who will have dual SS streams and other dual retirement income streams after they turn 65, to the MAJORITY, including the womb-productive citizens and noncitizens at the low end of the wage scale.

At the back end of life, they do not have the extra pension money from .gov, but their major household bills are paid by .gov all through their childbearing years. This is noncontributory, other than the sex and birthing that they give .gov. 

They get free groceries, subsidized rent, monthly cash assistance, free electricity, nearly free daycare so that the single-breadwinner mommas can work part time to stay under the income limits for welfare program—plus yearly, sex-and-reproduction, tax-cash rewards from the US Treasury Department called refundable child tax credits up to $6,431. 

Those mommas with .gov-financed monthly bills often spend their child-tax-credit cash,

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Are Trump Regime Hardliners Sabotaging US -North Korea Talks? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Are Trump Regime Hardliners Sabotaging US -North Korea Talks? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

30-08-18 02:23:00,

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Washington can never be trusted. Its promises are consistently broken. Accepting US pledges at face value is hazardous.  Washington has been in a state of undeclared war on the DPRK since adoption of the uneasy 1953 armistice. 

What’s going on post-mid-June Kim Jong-Un/Trump summit talks is reminiscent of how US/DPRK relations unravelled earlier.

In 1994, US/North Korean talks were held. An Agreed Framework was signed.

Pyongyang agreed to replace its nuclear power plant program with a light water nuclear reactor, along with steps toward normalizing relations with Washington.

The Clinton regime agreed to build two light-water reactors by 2003. It promised to supply Pyongyang with 500,000 tons of heavy fuel annually.

US sanctions would be lifted. The DPRK would no longer be designated a state sponsor of terrorism.

Both countries agreed to provide “formal assurances” against threatened or actual use of nuclear weapons.

Pyongyang agreed to allow Washington to monitor its nuclear sites. The deal collapsed after GW Bush called North Korea part of an axis of evil in his first State of the Union address.

The DPRK upheld its part of the deal. Washington systematically breached it, reneging on its word. North Korea responded by resuming plutonium enrichment.

In August 2003, six-party talks were initiated, involving North and South Korea, China, Russia, America and Japan.

In 2005, Pyongyang pledged to abandon “all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.” In 2009, talks broke down following disagreements over verification, along with international condemnation of a DPRK ballistic missile test – what many other countries do without criticism of their programs.

Hostility and betrayal defined US policy toward North Korea throughout its post-WW II history.

Washington breached earlier agreements, not Pyongyang – eager for rapprochement and normalized relations, what the US consistently rejected.

Is this time different with the most extremist/belligerent ever US regime in power?

Since Kim/Trump summit talks in mid-June, US relations toward North Korea deteriorated. Trump regime hardliners demand everything in return for empty promises.

Russia is furious about a leaked confidential UN report on the DPRK – prior to discussion by the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee members on North Korea,

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NATO Think Tank Continues Pre-Election Interference

NATO Think Tank Continues Pre-Election Interference

30-08-18 12:19:00,

Authored by Rick Rozoff via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

On August 24 what is in effect the social media warfare division of the Atlantic Council published an article  accusing the Russian television and print news outlet RT of running a one-sided attack against the Democratic Party and several leaders thereof ahead of this November’s politically pivotal Senate and House of Representatives elections. (Thirty-five Senate seats and all 435 House seats are being contested.)

The Atlantic Council, until recently kept comparatively in the shadows for obvious reasons, is a think tank that has more than any other organization effected the transition of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization from a seeming Cold War relic with the break-up of the Warsaw Pact and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 to the world’s only and history’s first international military network with 70 members and partners on six continents currently. All thirteen new full member states are in Eastern and Central Europe; four of them border Russia.

Three months ago it began collaborating with Facebook to police and censor that and (presumably) soon after other social media companies which in recent decades have become the major sources of information and communication for the seven billion citizens of the planet. No modest undertaking.

This is by way of follow up to a Directive on Social Media issued four years ago by NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), the bloc’s military command in Europe (which also oversees activities in Israel and until the activation of U.S. Africa Command ten years ago almost all of Africa).

Excerpts from that directive  include:

One key challenge is the need to keep informed regarding social media ‘discussions’ on NATO and global security matters in order to maintain situational awareness. Key vulnerabilities include security concerns and the ease by which information can be transmitted globally using social media tools.

It also addresses  use of social media for what it calls “operations,” which frequently is a euphemism for bombings, missile attacks and all-out war. Witness Operation Allied Force (Yugoslavia 1999), Operation Unified Protector (Libya 2011), NATO Training Mission-Iraq (starting in 2004), International Security Assistance Force/Operation Resolute Force (Afghanistan from 2001 to the present) and Operation Atlantic Resolve (aimed at Russia since 2015).

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Roger Waters: “You want to start a war with the Russians? Are you crazy?” | The Vineyard of the Saker

Roger Waters: “You want to start a war with the Russians? Are you crazy?” | The Vineyard of the Saker

29-08-18 07:11:00,

Translated by Scott Humor

Roger Waters – about his upcoming concerts in Russia, his humanitarian activities and conflict with the “White helmets.”

source: An exclusive interview for the Izvestia newspaper.

At the end of August, Roger Waters, one of the founders of Pink Floyd, will visit Russia as part of his Us+Them World Tour, and the audience in Moscow and St. Petersburg will be able to see his new show. In the capital, the concert will be held at the Olympic stadium on August 31st. On the eve of the concerts, the legendary rock musician talked to the portal iz.ru about things that are common for Russians and Americans, why he opposes demonization of Russia, and reveals some plans on jogging in Moscow.

Q: First, I want to ask you about the upcoming concert. Your show, including its special effects, got a very positive feedback. Some even suggest that you should get an Oscar for it. How did you prepare for this project and how much time it took for you to get it all together?

A: It all started a couple of years ago when a music company Goldenvoice from California asked me to perform in Palm Springs at the Desert Trip music festival. Paul Tollet, the head of the company, had an idea to organize a festival like Coachella, which is held in spring and where I performed back in 2008. But this time he wanted the event to take place in autumn with a small number of performers.

As a result, he planned the performance of six bands, three of which were headliners. I think his idea was to collect The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd, and on the sidelines to put Bob Dylan, Neil Young and the band The Who. It was just a crazy idea! Paul (McCartney) contacted me and asked me to represent Pink Floyd, and I agreed. McCartney said, “you’ll be the Beatles, that’s all right.”

At the end we had a performance. I think it was a great opportunity to do something extraordinary. The Desert Trip was the starting point of what we are doing now. It was then I first proposed an idea of having a scenery in the form of the recreated Battersea Power Station at concerts — it became a kind of symbol of the military-industrial complex,

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Flipping of the Poles Rapid of Gradual? | Armstrong Economics

Flipping of the Poles Rapid of Gradual? | Armstrong Economics

29-08-18 07:02:00,

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; I read your Mayan report and it was fascinating. Do you think that these strange anomalies of places that are cool experiencing hot summers and where it should be hot have been getting cool are a prelude to climate change that may be the preparation for the flipping of the poles?

EK

ANSWER: Nobody knows for sure. There are a number of scientists who are very concerned that we are overdue for the reversal of the poles. Nobody really knows the consequences since we are talking about a period beyond recorded history. One theory is that the magnetic field is what shelters us from the worse of the sun. The magnetic field has been declining in magnitude. This is what many fear is the real cause behind the appearance of climate change.

We were given the data to run it through our computer and it came up with a cycle of 720,000 years. We are clearly overdue and how do you measure that is hard to say – weeks, months, years, decades, or centuries? It has been postulated that such a flip will be devastating for our shield against harmful radiation from the sun will be diminished. Some have even raised the issue that this could be a factor in mass extinctions.

What I can say is that based upon our models, the pole flip will be rapid, not gradual. The prelude may appear gradual as we see now with a 5% decline per century. However, we will cross an invisible line and then it will flip instantaneous not gradual. It will act like a pot of boiling water. It will be no means be a linear progression.

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Three Volcanoes Erupt at Same Time & New Evidence of Gamma Ray Intensity | Armstrong Economics

Three Volcanoes Erupt at Same Time & New Evidence of Gamma Ray Intensity | Armstrong Economics

29-08-18 06:46:00,

A number of people have written in that they enjoyed the phrase I made up that we are like a pebble at the bottom of the ocean with no clue what lies above our heads. I have stressed that our computer correlated volcanoes with the decline in solar sunspot activity. What has also been strange is that further research has revealed that when we go into Solar Minimum, this is also simultaneously the maximum output of Gamma Rays. I offer no explanation as to why volcanoes tend to erupt more during solar minimum. My role here is simply to correlate everything to understand the trends set in motion behind the economy. Weather and shortage of food have been major factors in economic history setting off migrations and extinctions.

Gamma Rays are the most energetic form of light and are produced by the hottest regions of the universe. They are also produced by such violent events as supernova explosions or the destruction of atoms, and by less dramatic events, such as the decay of radioactive material in space. Things like supernova explosions (the way massive stars die), neutron stars and pulsars, and black holes are all sources of celestial gamma-rays. Interestingly very few gamma-rays actually make it through the atmosphere. Gamma-rays can strike the material and produce ‘secondary’ particles which are more penetrating and can go through the material. Consequently, the majority of the cosmic rays that actually reach the Earth’s surface are ‘secondary cosmic rays’, produced by gamma-rays. Primary cosmic rays are high energy particles (such are protons and the nuclei from iron atoms) that are moving at speeds very close to the speed of light. These primary cosmic rays are mostly deflected by the Earth’s magnetic field. If Earth didn’t have a magnetic field, there would be many more primary cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere, and many more secondary cosmic rays hitting us and penetrating .the Earth itself.

These waves are penetrating electromagnetic radiation of a kind arising from the radioactive decay of atomic nuclei. Gamma Rays are beyond X-rays and will obviously penetrate deep into the Earth. This may be pointing to the cause of an increase in volcanic activity. The Earth’s magnetic field serves to deflect most of the solar wind,

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Ron Paul Warns “Turkey Now, America Later”

Ron Paul Warns “Turkey Now, America Later”

28-08-18 05:25:00,

Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

President Trump recently imposed sanctions on Turkey to protest the Turkish government’s detention of an American pastor. Turkey has responded by increasing tariffs on US exports. The trade war is being blamed for the collapse of Turkey’s currency, the lira. While the sanctions may have played a role, Turkey’s currency crisis is rooted in the Turkish government’s fiscal and (especially) monetary policies.

In the past seven years, Turkey’s central bank has tripled the money supply and pushed interest rates down to 4.5 percent. While Turkey’s government did not adopt Ben Bernanke’s proposal to drop money from helicopters, Turkish politicians have taken advantage of easy money policies to increase subsidies for key voting blocs and special interests.

The results of the Turkish government’s inflation-fueled spending binge are not surprising to anyone familiar with Austrian economics or economic history. Turkey is now plagued with huge deficits, a collapsing currency, and a looming economic crisis, making it the next candidate for a European Union or Federal Reserve bailout.

Turkey’s combination of low interest rates, money creation, and massive government spending to “stimulate” the economy parallels the policies the US government has pursued for the past ten years. Without drastic changes in fiscal and monetary policies, economic trouble in America is around the corner.

The very large and growing federal debt will cause a major crisis as the government’s debt burden will be unsustainable. Instead of cutting spending or raising taxes, politicians can be expected to pressure the Federal Reserve to do their dirty work for them via inflation. We may even see the Fed “experiment” with negative interest rates, which would punish Americans for saving. The monetization of the federal debt will erode the dollar’s purchasing power and decimate middle-and-working-class Americans who are already seeing any gains in their incomes eaten away by inflation.

If we are lucky, the next Fed-caused downturn will cause only a resurgence of 1970s-style stagflation.

The more likely scenario is the type of widespread economic chaos not seen in America since the Great Depression.

The growth of cultural Marxism, the widespread entitlement mentality, and the willingness of partisans of various sides to use force against their political opponents suggests that this economic crisis will result in civil unrest that will be used to justify new crackdowns on individual liberty.

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Vietnam Demands Monsanto Finally Be Held Liable Over Agent Orange

Vietnam Demands Monsanto Finally Be Held Liable Over Agent Orange

28-08-18 05:19:00,

Authored by Andrea Germanos via CommonDreams.org,

In the wake of a U.S. court ordering Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to man who says its weedkiller Roundup caused his cancer, Vietnam has called on the agrichemical giant to pay reparations to Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange.

“This case is a precedent that rejects previous arguments that the herbicides supplied to the U.S. military by Monsanto and other U.S. chemical companies during the Vietnam War are not harmful to people’s health,” spokesperson for the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Phuong Tra said to reporters last week.

“We believe Monsanto should be responsible for compensating Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange for the damages caused by the company’s herbicides,” she said.

Monsanto, now a unit of Bayer, was one of the manufacturers of Agent Orange.

The U.S. dumped roughly 45 million liters of the notorious compound, which contained dioxin, on Vietnam during the war, unleashing “a slow-onset disaster whose devastating economic, health, and ecological impacts … are still being felt today.”  With its long-lasting impacts on the Vietnamese, as well as U.S. service-members, it’s been called “one of the most tragic legacies of the war.”

Viet Nam News reported Sunday that the Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA), which is working for justice on behalf of roughly 3 million Vietnamese affected by the chemical warfare, is also hopeful given the new verdict.

“No matter how difficult and prolonged this case might be, we won’t ever give up on it, for the sake of the millions of Vietnamese victims,” said Quách Thành Vinh, VAVA’s chief of office and director of liaison lawyers office.

Former U.S. school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, who’s suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, secured his legal victory against Monsanto on Aug. 10. CNN reported that the ruling “could set a massive precedent for thousands of other cases claiming Monsanto’s famous herbicide causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

Monsanto has said it is appealing the verdict.

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Canadian Intelligence: The Case of Media Manipulation and the CSIS Agenda | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Canadian Intelligence: The Case of Media Manipulation and the CSIS Agenda | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

28-08-18 07:38:00,

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Accusations of fake news across the political spectrum have transformed a very concerning issue into a weapon of delegitimization. A recent report published by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) titled Who Said What? The Security Challenges of Modern Disinformation have conflated anti-globalization activists, who oppose military intervention, environmental destruction and global labour exploitation with conspiracy theorists and “foreign nationals” in the sharing of disinformation.

The report, which emerged out of a workshop organized by CSIS for the purposes of academic outreach, reflects a common attitude that state security and intelligence agencies have towards social and environmental justice activists—that of flippant dismissal and demonization. Though the spy agency claims that this report does not reflect an official position, it does reveal some logics underlying the surveillance of political activists. The report had obscured any of the workshops participants or the reports authors under the Chatham House Rule.

The immense popularity of social media and its omnipresence in how we communicate and share information has transformed the social and political landscape in ways that are only now being unveiled.

As a controversial experiment conducted by psychologists has demonstrated, people’s emotions can be remotely shaped through computer algorithms over social media platforms. Called “moral contagion,” psychologists working with Facebook secretly manipulated the news feeds of close to 700 000 Facebook users and silently influenced how they express emotions online. The idea of mass manipulation has recently overtaken the news cycle with the Cambridge Analytica leaks, revealing the role of socially hacking user’s political sensibilities to aid Trump’s election win. Clearly, there is a case for concern with how social media landscapes can be used as tools of surveillance and manipulation, this is especially concerning when groups use a combination of bots, social media exploits, and fake news to manipulate people on mass for political gain.

Edward Snowden aptly framed the situation in a recent tweet, “Business that make money by collecting and selling detailed records of private lives were once plainly described as “surveillance companies.” Their rebranding as “social media” it the most successful deception since the Department of War became the Department of Defense”.

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The 10 Primary Directives of Mainstream Media | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

The 10 Primary Directives of Mainstream Media | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

28-08-18 07:07:00,

Sigmund Fraud, Staff Writer
Waking Times

The circus never stops, and no matter who cries fake news against whom, the fact remains that we have entered the post-truth, post-credibility, post-sanity, post-free speech world. While censorship is coming out into the open, the major corporate news organizations still have tremendous reach into the hollows of public consciousness, giving them power to direct and deflect public attention onto or away from whatever they choose.

The news industry parrots scripted narratives and talking points that are written for them by corporate, financial and political interests. This massive public relations and propaganda effort targets the intelligence, common sense and emotional stability of the body politic. It’s part of the endgame of order out of chaos.

Once you wake up to this game, though, it’s easy to see the framework in which they operate, and when you do, the talking heads and recycled government experts are a joke, albeit a dangerous one. Their tactics become more and more obvious, and their intent is easy recognized for its duplicity, subterfuge and hypocrisy.

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How Macedonia Could Push NATO Into A War

How Macedonia Could Push NATO Into A War

28-08-18 06:59:00,

Authored by R=Ted Galen Carpenter via The National Interest,

Macedonia’s tenuous relationships with its neighbor states make it a liability for the alliance.

When Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked Donald Trump last month why he should send his son to die defending Montenegro, NATO’s newest member, the president seemed to repudiate his own administration’s policy. He indicated that Americans shouldn’t be willing to sacrifice their lives for such a trivial ally. Furthermore, he warned that Montenegro “has very aggressive people. They may get aggressive, and congratulations, you’re in World War III.” As Cato Institute senior fellow Doug Bandow pointed out, Trump’s comment was odd on two counts.

First, the Senate approved the admission of Montenegro on his watch in March 2017. If he thought that latest episode of adding a useless microstate to the Alliance was unwise, he could have withdrawn the treaty from consideration before the Senate vote.

Second, as Bandow notes archly, that while “it is theoretically possible that the vast, aggressive, powerful Montenegrin legions might launch themselves towards Moscow,” it isn’t too likely, because Montenegrin leaders “do not appear to have entirely lost their minds.”

Indeed, the scenario that a small Balkan NATO partner might trigger a war that entangles the United States is unlikely to entail a direct provocation of Russia. That reality has made it easy for Trump’s critics, here and abroad, to mock his comment about Montenegro triggering a world war.

A far greater risk is that the tripwire would be a conflict in which an alliance member became embroiled with one of its regional neighbors. Montenegro actually is less of a danger in that respect than NATO’s latest invitee, Macedonia. Montenegro seems on relatively good terms with neighboring states, although it has been involved in an extended border dispute with Kosovo that was resolved just recently when the Kosovo parliament passed bitterly resisted legislation approving a settlement of the controversy.

Macedonia is on much worse terms with Kosovo and that country’s ethnic brethren in Albania. Officials and the populations of both countries have long pursued a “Greater Albania” agenda that lays claim to swaths of territory in Serbia,

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With Merkel Under Attack by Trump Is Putin Suddenly a Good Guy in Berlin?

With Merkel Under Attack by Trump Is Putin Suddenly a Good Guy in Berlin?

27-08-18 07:15:00,

That is exactly how his under the radar summit with Merkel was presented by Berlin this time

Vladimir Putin’s charm tour of Germany and Austria last weekend is a significant sign of change to come.

To the U.S. and European press Putin is only a step or two away from Hitler reincarnated (thanks chiefly to Bill Browder).  It serves the purpose of maintaining the post WWII institutional order.

But, Putin is always nothing but relentlessly patient in his diplomatic efforts, even when European leaders, like Merkel, treat him and Russia poorly.  She is, after all, the leading mouthpiece and political ally of The Davos Crowd that believes they run the world.

The conduct of his Foreign Ministry under Sergei Lavrov always strikes the perfect balance between bluntness and diplo-speak. 

So, color me surprised when I see the official photos of his meeting with Merkel carefully framed to paint him in a positive light.

Putin in light blues and grays, Merkel in green, the fountain in the background, leaning in looking directly at each other and a simple Sunday morning chat.

If I didn’t know better I’d be expecting them to share photos of their grandkids, well, Putin’s grandkids anyway.

Optics are important and this image captures what both parties wanted to convey.  This meeting is the beginning of a shift in the relationship between Germany and Russia for the better.

And the question is why?

The obvious answer is necessity brought about by pressure being placed on both countries by Donald Trump through sanctions and tariffs and their shared interests represented by the Nordstream  2 pipeline.

But, this meeting went far deeper than that, especially since Merkel’s Foriegn Minister Heiko Maas boldly proclaimed that Europe needs an alternative to the SWIFT system of international electronic payments so as to keep global trade alive while the U.S. further weaponizes the U.S. dollar.

The U.S. just seized another $5 billion of Russian ‘oligarch’ money using Credit Suisse as its enforcement arm.

Again, the question is why?

Why would Merkel allow Maas to state this publicly and why was it picked up by that establishment stenographer The Financial Times?

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Trump Moves to Open 1.6 Million Acres of California Public Lands to Fracking

Trump Moves to Open 1.6 Million Acres of California Public Lands to Fracking

27-08-18 04:03:00,

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The Trump administration took the first steps on Wednesday towards opening up 1.6 million acres of public land in California to fracking and oil drilling, The Sacramento Bee reported.

In a notice of intent published on the Federal Register Wednesday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said it would prepare an environmental impact statement on the use of fracking on 400,000 acres of public land and 1.2 million acres of mineral estate overseen by BLM in California counties including Fresno, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, The Hill reported.

Concerned citizens have 30 days from Wednesday to comment on the proposal.

The move would lift a five-year moratorium on leasing federal land in California to oil companies, The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) said in a statement.

It also comes less than a week after the Trump administration proposed revoking California’s waiver to set its own vehicle emissions standards under the Clean Air Act and just days after Trump blamed the state’s environmental policies for the record-breaking wildfires it is currently battling.

“It’s a coordinated attack on California by the Trump administration,” CBD senior attorney Clare Lakewood told The Hill.

No federal lands in the state have been leased to oil companies since 2013, when a federal judge found that the BLM had leased land in Monterey County without fully considering the environmental impact of fracking.

Environmentalists are concerned that fracking can increase the risk of earthquakes and contaminate groundwater, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The later risk is increased in California, a 2015 report from the California Council on Science and Technology found, because fracking in the state happens in areas with shallow depths close to groundwater and uses an especially high amount of toxic chemicals, The CBD reported.

Residents of San Luis Obispo are even considering a ballot measure this November that would ban new fracking operations and oil wells in parts of the county that are unincorporated, though it would have no impact on what happens on federal land,

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The Real Dancing Bear | New Eastern Outlook

The Real Dancing Bear | New Eastern Outlook

27-08-18 10:21:00,

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While the Western press was marking the fiftieth anniversary of the phony invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union, which lasted all of three days and caused no fatalities, the current president of Russia was waltzing at a country wedding with the Austrian Defense Minister.

While the American President tries to drag his hawks kicking and screaming away from confrontation with Russia, and the Congress considers impeachment, his Russian vis a vis continues to implement the FDR era playbook Making Friends and Influencing People.

The Western media signals Austria’s recently elected right-wing government among the increasing number of European anti-immigrant regimes that President Putin is said to favor, the better to divide and conquer the old continent. However, I can’t help but notice a few other things about the country that Hitler took over first.

Nineteen thirties Austria, was a far cry from the multi-national Holy Roman Empire, or its nineteenth century successor, the powerful Austro-Hungarian empire, brought down by the first World War, however it was the cultural center of Europe. During the Cold War, this small country located in Europe’s heart of stone, maintained a policy of strict neutrality between the Warsaw Pact and NATO. Under all governments, it provided refugees from the East, many of whom were headed to Israel, with reception areas and Red Cross facilities. Austria’s neutrality was so hard-wired that it succeeded in having a former Nazi collaborator, Kurt Waldheim, chosen as Secretary General of the UN, those revelations only coming to light when he became Austria’s president. More than simply a signal to Europe’s new right, when the Russian President brings a bouquet to the Austrian Foreign Minister’s wedding, he is acknowledging centuries of European history and tradition.

Karin Kneissl, whose father piloted for King Hussein of Jordan, is a multi-lingual former Professor of International relations specializing in the Middle East, and for her wedding, at age fifty-three, she wore a long, cream-colored gown with crew neck and three quarter sleeves.

While the American President teeters on the verge of impeachment, Putin, who has a degree in international relations and favors old-fashioned families, embraces British historian Halford Mackinder’s Heartland Theory, which designates Russia as the lynchpin of Eurasia:

“Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland;

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Sanctions Backfire: US Is Being Left Behind | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Sanctions Backfire: US Is Being Left Behind | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

27-08-18 10:12:00,

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The United States has a long history of dominating international economic institutions and has been able to use that power in the past to control other governments and enrich its industries. At present, the United States is waging an economic World War targeting much of the world economy, including allies who refuse to comply with US mandates.

Among the nations included in the US economic war are China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Venezuela, Nicaragua and North Korea. The European Union is being threatened with economic sanctions if it does not obey US demands to blockade the Iranian economy.

The US’ power and influence are waning. Measured by the real economy, i.e. people’s ability to purchase goods, the CIA’s World Factbook ranks China as the largest economy in the world, $4 trillion larger than the United States, which ranks third after the EU. Also in the top 20 are Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

US tools of economic domination are failing and are causing the country to be isolated as the rest of the world moves in a multi-polar direction. Countries are cutting the US out of their markets and building independence from US-dollar domination.

This is a time for the US to change its strategy, but the power elites and Pentagon do not seem to know any other way. Military spending continues to rise, now consuming 61% of federal discretionary spending. The social safety net is unraveling, leaving people in the US vulnerable to the impacts of a world economy that increasingly leaves the US out. It is up to us, the people, to organize and mobilize for a modern foreign policy and economy that takes the new global dynamics into account.

Fundamental Flaws In The US Economy Worsen

The global economic war the US has begun is already undermining the US economy. Rather than address decades of failed policies, the US is looking for a quick fix by taxing foreign goods and isn’t investing in building a sound economy. The US economy is not on firm ground.

Much of the real economy of the United States, producing goods, has gone overseas. Combined with new technology, this has resulted in the US losing 5 million jobs since 2000,

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