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Sunday, 30 August 2015

Financial Times calls for abolishing cash in order to "to give more power to central banks"

Paul Joseph Watson
Global Research /

With comments by sott.net

The Financial Times has published an anonymous article which calls for the abolition of cash in order to give central banks and governments more power.

Entitled The case for retiring another 'barbarous relic', the article laments the fact that people are stockpiling cash in anticipation of another economic collapse, a factor which is causing, "a lot of distortion to the economic system."


Comment: People should be stockpiling cash, precious metals and all sorts of supplies in anticipation of a probable economic collapse. The only "distortion to the economic system" will be in the distorted minds of individuals who experience a sense of loss of control over individuals who would seek to protect themselves and persevere through the turmoil to come.
"The existence of cash — a bearer instrument with a zero interest rate — limits central banks' ability to stimulate a depressed economy. The worry is that people will change their deposits for cash if a central bank moves rates into negative territory," states the article.

Complaining that cash cannot be tracked and traced, the writer argues that its abolition would, "make life easier for a government set on squeezing the informal economy out of existence."


Comment: What about the government making life easier for the people that they are supposed to serve? But that doesn't quite enter the equation does it? 'Informal' economies, or black markets as they are sometimes called, are the only way the vast majority of normal people can make it through the really tough times.

Have a listen to Dmitry Orlov a Russian engineer who's lived through Soviet Russia's collapse in the early 90's:


SOTT Talk Radio #66 - Lessons from collapse of USSR for USA: Interview with Dmitry Orlov
and read: Dmitry Orlov interview: Are Americans prepared for a Soviet style collapse?
Abolishing cash would also give governments more power to lift taxes directly from people's bank accounts, the author argues, noting how "Value added tax, for example, could be automatically levied — and reimbursed — in real time on transactions between liable bank accounts."

The writer also calls for punishing people who use cash by making users "pay for the privilege of anonymity" so they will, "remain affected by monetary policy." Dated bank notes would lose their value over time, while people would also be charged by banks for swapping electronic reserves for physical cash and vice versa.
  

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Saturday, 29 August 2015

Lies You Will Hear As The Economic Collapse Progresses

Brandon Smith
alt.market.com

It is undeniable; the final collapse triggers are upon us, triggers alternative economists have been warning about since the initial implosion of 2008. In the years since the derivatives disaster, there has been no end to the absurd and ludicrous propaganda coming out of mainstream financial outlets and as the situation in markets becomes worse, the propaganda will only increase. This might seem counter-intuitive to many. You would think that the more obvious the economic collapse becomes, the more alternative analysts will be vindicated and the more awake and aware the average person will be. Not necessarily...

In fact, the mainstream spin machine is going into high speed the more negative data is exposed and absorbed into the markets. If you know your history, then you know that this is a common tactic by the establishment elite to string the public along with false hopes so that they do not prepare or take alternative measures while the system crumbles around their ears. At the onset of the Great Depression the same strategies were used. Consider if you've heard similar quotes to these in the mainstream news over the past couple months:

John Maynard Keynes in 1927: “We will not have any more crashes in our time.”

H.H. Simmons, president of the New York Stock Exchange, Jan. 12, 1928: “I cannot help but raise a dissenting voice to statements that we are living in a fool’s paradise, and that prosperity in this country must necessarily diminish and recede in the near future.”

Irving Fisher, leading U.S. economist, The New York Times, Sept. 5, 1929:  “There may be a recession in stock prices, but not anything in the nature of a crash.” And on 17, 1929: “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. I do not feel there will be soon if ever a 50 or 60 point break from present levels, such as (bears) have predicted. I expect to see the stock market a good deal higher within a few months.”

W. McNeel, market analyst, as quoted in the New York Herald Tribune, Oct. 30, 1929: “This is the time to buy stocks. This is the time to recall the words of the late J. P. Morgan… that any man who is bearish on America will go broke. Within a few days there is likely to be a bear panic rather than a bull panic. Many of the low prices as a result of this hysterical selling are not likely to be reached again in many years.”

Harvard Economic Society, Nov. 10, 1929: “… a serious depression seems improbable; [we expect] recovery of business next spring, with further improvement in the fall.”

Here is the issue – as I have ALWAYS said, economic collapse is not a singular event, it is a process. The global economy has been in the process of collapse since 2008 and it never left that path. Those who were ignorant took government statistics at face value and the manipulated bull market as legitimate and refused to acknowledge the fundamentals. Now, with markets recently suffering one of the greatest freefalls since the 2008/2009 crash, they are witnessing the folly of their assumptions, but that does not mean they will accept them or apologize for them outright. If there is one lesson I have learned well during my time in the Liberty Movement, it is to never underestimate the power of normalcy bias.

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Friday, 28 August 2015

Color Revolution In Lebanon Designed To Weaken Hezbollah, Syria, Iran

Brandon Turbeville

During the past week, demonstrations in Lebanon over uncollected garbage have descended into violent clashes between protesters and police. Masses of demonstrators have swelled in the streets of Beirut in a movement now being deemed the “You Stink!” movement.
With these developments suddenly taking place in Lebanon and, with taking the Syrian crisis into context and the Iranian nuclear deal in the background, it is reasonable to question whether or not these protests are a legitimate expression of discontent with an inefficient government or whether it is the product of a Western-backed color revolution aimed at destabilizing Lebanon – particularly Hezbollah – and further weakening the “Shiite Arch of Influence.”

When attempting to analyze events in Lebanon, like much of the Middle East, very little could be considered simple. Lebanon has been racked with economic depression, cultural tensions, color revolutions, civil war and civil war brinkmanship, and terrorism for decades. It has also been the target of outside forces for many years.

The Background

The issue of trash pickup – the issue around which the protests began – was entirely a legitimate issue. Squabbling within the Lebanese government has resulted in gridlock on issues such as the disposal of garbage and the economic crisis has brought funding of garbage disposal into question. Likewise, when the government brought up the idea of the privatization of trash disposal services, Lebanese erupted in anger understanding that privatization would mean higher prices, poorer service, and even less accountability. 


Already suffering from the effects of the world economic depression, Lebanon’s main source of national income – tourism and banking – have seen drastic reductions due to the crisis in Syria and the spillover of fighting across the border. An increase of Syrian refugees alongside Palestinian refugees already inside the country’s borders have also taxed the social fabric and the social safety net system in Lebanon. As Andrew Korybko points out in his article “Lebanon’s Future Is On The Line, And It Directly Affects Syria,” Lebanon’s high debt-to-GDP ratio is one of the world’s highest standing at 143% and the unemployment rate among young people in Lebanon stands officially at 34%.

The economic crisis has become so strained that Prime Minister Tammam Salam recently announced that the government might not be able to pay salaries to workers as early as next month.

Lebanon is also in the middle of an acute political crisis, having been without a President since May 2014, after the previous Presidential term ended. In addition, Prime Minister Salam has hinted that he will resign if political gridlock continues. This resignation would only add to the tensions in Lebanon since the Prime Minister appoints the President. Salam’s resignation would throw Lebanon into a Constitutional crisis on top of the protests, terrorism, and economic hardship.

As Korybko writes, the political situation as it currently stands in Lebanon suggests that one of two men – Michael Aoun and Samir Geagea – have the potential to be president. Both men seem to represent the main “trans-religious political coalitions.”

Aoun is allied with Hezbollah while Geagea is tied to a former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a Lebanese-Saudi billionaire. Wikileaks cables released coming from the Saudi Foreign Ministry suggests that Hariri still maintains connections and contacts with Saudi intelligence and the Saudi royal family. The connections are deep enough that Hariri once thought it a reasonable proposition to ask the Saudis to fund his political party. 


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Religious eugenics: How Saudi Arabia is sponsoring a frightening new movement in the ME

Catherine Shakdam
RT


Blanketed by its wealth and protected by political alliances, Saudi Arabia has covertly run and promoted a new movement in the Middle East: religious eugenics, under the false pretense of opposing the rise of Iran. From Syria to Bahrain and Yemen the evidence is overwhelming.

Earlier this August, the Red Cross added its voice to those of other humanitarian and rights groups in its condemnation of Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, lifting the lid on Riyadh's little house of horrors in southern Arabia.

In no uncertain terms Peter Maurer, the head of the international Red Cross told reporters he had seldom witnessed such degree of devastation. He said: "Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years ... The images I have from Sanaa and Aden remind of what I have seen in Syria."

He stressed "the firepower with which this war is fought on the ground and in the air is causing more suffering than in other societies, which are stronger and where infrastructures are better off and people are wealthier and have reserves and can escape."

A country in ruins, Yemen is also a nation in permanent mourning, as every day its people are relentlessly slain - casualties of a violent and murderous colonial war - the latest victims of Riyadh's expansionist military campaign in the Middle East.

According to official UNICEF tallies, "close to 2,800 people have been killed and almost 13,000 people injured (including 279 children killed and 402 injured, respectively). An estimated 1 million people have been internally displaced (an increase of 122 percent since the crisis began), and some 400,000 people have sought protection in neighboring countries."

While such figures are horrifying, they fall short of the truth. Agencies on the ground have already said that well over 500 children have been killed in Saudi-led air raids, most specifically in northern Yemen, where the war has been most devastating and aggressive. On average, children account for a quarter of all deaths and casualties. 


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Cocaine Production Plummets After DEA Kicked Out Of Bolivia

John Vibes
antimedia.org

After the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was kicked out of Bolivia, the country was able to drastically reduce the amount of coca (cocaine) produced within its borders. According to data released by the United Nations, cocaine production in the country declined by 11% in the past year, marking the fourth year in a row of steady decrease.

It was just seven years ago that the DEA left Bolivia — and only three years after that, progress was finally made. The strategy employed by the Bolivian government may be a surprise to many prohibitionists because it did not involve any strong-arm police state tactics. Instead, they worked to find alternative crops for farmers to grow that would actually make them more money.

“Bolivia has adopted a policy based on dialogue, where coca cultivation is allowed in traditional areas alongside alternative development [in others],” Antonino de Leo, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s representative in Bolivia, told VICE News.

“It’s not only about making money off a crop. In the old fashioned alternative development approach, we substitute one illicit crop for a licit crop. It’s about a more comprehensive approach that includes access to essential services like schools, hospitals, and roads in areas that traditionally have been hard to reach, Leo added.

There are unfortunately still harsh laws against drug trafficking in Bolivia, but these have been active since the height of the drug war and have had no effect on the recent decline in production. Bolivian president, Evo Morales — a former coca farmer himself — has been less heavy handed since the DEA left the country, a move that allowed the government to develop alternatives for the struggling farmers instead.

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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Visual of Global Military Expenditures

Robert Barsocchini
www.empireslayer.org/



How did the US propel itself so far ahead, to the point that it could, alone, comprise about half of global military spending?

Professor of history at Cornell University: “The idea that the commodification and suffering and forced labor of African-Americans is what made the United States powerful and rich is not an idea that people necessarily are happy to hear. Yet it is the truth.”

Even divided in half, the two halves of the US would still be tied for the lead in global military spending, 89 billion dollars each ahead of the number two spender, China.

Also notice how North Korea’s spending is represented by a pin-prick dot above South Korea, and that Iran’s budget is not high enough even to be given a number on the chart (it was under 10 billion in 2009).

It would take 16 billion dollars to clean up the un-exploded bombs the US left in Laos, which continue to kill thousands of people, mostly children. But the US won’t pay it.

@_DirtyTruths

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Indian anti-corruption official: state “orchestrated” Islamist terror

This exclusive is published by INSURGE INTELLIGENCE, a new crowd-funded investigative journalism project

A senior Indian police officer and anti-corruption investigator last month accused the Indian government of orchestrating the Mumbai terror attacks which occurred nearly seven years ago, according to an Indian government official.

R. V. S. Mani, a former undersecretary in India’s home ministry now in the urban development ministry, testified in July that a senior police officer who investigated the 2004 ‘encounter killings’ of four Indian Muslims in Gujarat by the Ahmedabad Police Crime Branch, had told him that the 2008 Mumbai attacks were “set up” by the Indian government.

The police officer, Satish Verma — currently Principal at the Police Training College in Junagadh — is well-known for his secondment to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s elite anti-corruption law enforcement agency, to lead the probe into the 2004 ‘encounter killings.’

The 2004 victims were Ishrat Jahan Raza, a 19-year-old girl from Mumbra, Maharashtra, and three men — Pranesh Pillai (alias Javed Gulam Sheikh), Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar. Gujarat police authorities with the support of Indian government officials claimed that the killings were justified due to credible intelligence linking the four to Islamist terrorists.


Startup in biotech adds two base pairs to genetic code — and life on earth may never be the same

Aaron Krumins
Extreme Tech


midst the staggering diversity that is life on earth, there is a surprising thread of commonality. That shared ground is the language of genetics. Prior to the discovery of DNA, few suspected that a single molecular code could underpin such a panoply of biological forms - everything from viruses to talking apes.

Even more startling was the discovery that this code consisted of a molecular language only four base pairs in length. It took evolution a billion years to devise this four-letter chemical code. Now for the first time in recorded history, organisms with a new, expanded, genetic code are taking shape in the laboratory. It's no exaggeration to say that life on earth will never be the same.

While the playboy of biology, Craig Venter, has stolen many of the recent headlines in regards to synthetic biology, the more interesting advances in the field are occurring with surprisingly little fanfare. And not without good reason: many of the corporate labs pursuing synthetic biology have little cause to draw excess attention to themselves.

They've learned all too well from the disastrous backlash against genetically modified foods that the public is not necessarily the wisest arbiter of scientific advancement. If we were to ban GMO crops tomorrow, half the population of the world would starve in short order. Yet this seems to be precisely what a large percentage of the "well-fed" in places like the United States are angling for. But I digress.

In a development sure to have far reaching repercussions, scientists working at the drug discovery company called Synthorx quietly announced that it is using an expanded version of the genetic alphabet, one that includes two novel base pairs dubbed X and Y, to create a type of E. coli bacteria never before seen on the face of the earth.  


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Monday, 24 August 2015

Major publisher retracts 64 scientific papers in fake peer review outbreak

washingtonpost.com (August 18th 2015)
Peer review is supposed to be the pride of the rigorous academic publishing process. But increasingly journals are finding out that those supposedly authoritative checks are being rigged.
In the latest episode of the fake peer review phenomenon, one of the world’s largest academic publishers, Springer, has retracted 64 articles from 10 of its journals after discovering that their reviews were linked to fake e-mail addresses. The announcement comes nine months after 43 studies were retracted by BioMed Central (one of Springer’s imprints) for the same reason.
Retraction Watch co-founder Ivan Oransky ... said he didn’t know of any instances of retractions for faked peer reviews before 2012. 
In a report for the journal Nature last fall, Oransky and his colleagues told the story of a ... researcher who wrote peer reviews for 28 of his own papers. Investigations ... have also uncovered a number of services selling names and contact information for made-up experts guaranteed to give an expedited, positive review. 
In a statement on its Web site in February, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) detailed these agencies’ “systematic, inappropriate attempts” to manipulate the process. COPE’s chair Ginny Barbour wrote in December, “The uncovering of companies systematically manipulating publications, by the use of fake reviewers and more, offers an alarming glimpse into what can happen if reward systems are implemented with no thought or oversight.”
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 See also: wanttoknow.info:  
Note: The editor of a top medical journal recently suggested that half all of scientific literature may simply be untrue. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Official Israeli policy: Mass murder and ethnic cleansing of defenseless Palestinians

Stephen Lendman
thepeoplesvoice.org


Palestine is a free-fire zone. No safe havens exist. Mass murdering and ethnically cleansing defenseless Palestinians are longstanding Israeli policies.

So is targeting them one at a time. No miranda rights. No due process. No judicial fairness. Summary judgment approves brutalizing and killing them unaccountably.

It happens repeatedly - each time justified by fabricated claims of responding to nonexistent Palestinian threats or attacks. Victims are blamed for cold-blooded Israeli murder.

In the past week alone, Israeli forces shot three Palestinians. Two died. An IDF spokesperson lied claiming they stabbed or attempted to stab soldiers. No evidence proves it.

Killer soldiers and cops are considered heroes. Investigations when conducted are consistently whitewashed.

On Monday, soldiers lethally shot 26-year-old Mohammed Bassam al-Atrash. He bled to death left unattended without emergency medical attention.

On Saturday, Israeli forces murdered 16-year-old Rafik kamel al-Taj - claiming he tried stabbing a soldier, the same Big Lie repeated often.

On August 9, Israeli soldiers lethally shot 20-year-old Anas Taha - this time claiming he stabbed a settler.

In late July, the Al-Haq human rights group said "Israel's indiscriminate, excessive and unlawful use of force against Palestinian civilians persists in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)."

"Almost on a daily basis, Al-Haq documents Israel's reckless and lethal use of force which has led to the killing and injury of countless Palestinians over the years."

"Since the beginning of 2015, Israel has killed 21 Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Between 21 and 27 July alone, Israel shot and killed three Palestinians in the West Bank."

Each death was willful, unprovoked assassination. Fabricated accusations claim otherwise. More Palestinians died in August - victims of Israeli ruthlessness.



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Saturday, 22 August 2015

Wormhole Created in Lab Makes Invisible Magnetic Field

space.com

Ripped from the pages of a sci-fi novel, physicists have crafted a wormhole that tunnels a magnetic field through space.

"This device can transmit the magnetic field from one point in space to another point, through a path that is magnetically invisible," said study co-author Jordi Prat-Camps, a doctoral candidate in physics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain. "From a magnetic point of view, this device acts like a wormhole, as if the magnetic field was transferred through an extra special dimension." 

The idea of a wormhole comes from Albert Einstein's theories. In 1935, Einstein and colleague Nathan Rosen realized that the general theory of relativity allowed for the existence of bridges that could link two different points in space-time. Theoretically these Einstein-Rosen bridges, or wormholes, could allow something to tunnel instantly between great distances (though the tunnels in this theory are extremely tiny, so ordinarily wouldn't fit a space traveler). So far, no one has found evidence that space-time wormholes actually exist. [Science Fact or Fiction? The Plausibility of 10 Sci-Fi Concepts

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Two Major US Aquifers Found to Be Saturated with Uranium

Joshua Krause
Activist Post

Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have just completed a comprehensive analysis of roughly 275,000 water samples from 62,000 locations across the United States. These samples were mostly derived from two massive underground aquifers that supply drinking water for millions of people, and what they reveal about the safety of drinking water in America is absolutely horrifying.

They found that the parts of the High Plains Aquifer (also often referred to as the Ogallala) is saturated with uranium at a level that is 89 times higher than the EPA’s safe limit. The southern half of California’s Central Valley was even worse, with a uranium concentration that is 180 times higher than the EPA’s “maximum contaminant level.”

Altogether, almost 2 million people live above the most contaminated sections of these aquifers. The research suggest that the uranium contamination is being caused by agricultural activities. The nitrates in fertilizers and animal waste can cause the oxidation of naturally occurring uranium, which makes it more water-soluble.

However, this research won’t come as a surprise for many Americans. Two years ago it was revealed that Texas state officials had been concealing the radioactive content of state drinking water for many years, so this is no isolated incident. In truth, the toxicity of the drinking water found across America, is an open secret.

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.



We Are the Government: Tactics for Taking Down the Police State

John W. Whitehead
The Rutherford institute

“The people have the power, all we have to do is awaken that power in the people. The people are unaware. They’re not educated to realize that they have power. The system is so geared that everyone believes the government will fix everything. We are the government.”—John Lennon

Saddled with a corporate media that marches in lockstep with the government, elected officials who dance to the tune of their corporate benefactors, and a court system that serves to maintain order rather than mete out justice, Americans often feel as if they have no voice, no authority and no recourse when it comes to holding government officials accountable and combatting rampant corruption and injustice.

We’re impotent in the face of SWAT teams that break down doors and leave toddlers scarred for life. We’re helpless to prevent police shootings that leave unarmed citizens dead for no other reason than the police officer involved felt “threatened.” We shrug dismissively over the plight of fellow citizens who have their heads cracked, their bodies broken and their rights violated for failing to jump to attention when a police officer issues an order. And we fail to care about the thousands of individuals who have been punished with extreme sentences for nonviolent offenses and are forced to spend their lives as modern-day slaves in bondage to private prisons and the profit-driven corporations they serve.

Make no mistake about it: virtually anything and everything is a crime nowadays (feeding the birds, growing vegetables in your front yard, etc.) to such an extent that if a prosecutor, police officer and judge were so inclined, you could be locked up for any inane reason.

This is tyranny dressed up in the official garb of the police state. It is the self-righteous, heavy-handed arm of the law being used as a decoy to divert your attention to the so-called criminals in your midst (the fisherman who threw back small fish into the ocean, the mother who let her child walk to the playground alone, the pastor holding Bible studies in his backyard) so that you don’t focus on the criminal behavior being perpetrated by the government (bribery, cronyism, electoral fraud, slush funds, graft, pork, theft, and on and on).

In the face of such abject injustice, outright corruption and overt inequality, it’s hard to feel empowered to believe the average citizen can make a difference. It’s hard to persuade anyone to stand against tyranny when all you can promise them as a reward is persecution, prosecution and a one-way trip to the morgue. And when the outcome seems to be a foregone conclusion—the government always wins—it can seem pointless, even foolhardy, to dare to challenge the system. As such, it’s far easier to buy into the political process, even though elections amount to nothing of consequence.

There are also those who subscribe to the notion that an armed revolution is the only thing that will save America. These armed resistors are making themselves easy targets and will be the first to be taken down by militarized police who are trained to kill and armed to the teeth with every kind of weapon imaginable, from grenade launchers and sniper rifles to armored vehicles and Black Hawk helicopters.

So how do you not only push back against the police state’s bureaucracy, corruption and cruelty but also launch a counterrevolution aimed at reclaiming control over the government using nonviolent means?

You start by changing the rules and engaging in some (nonviolent) guerilla tactics.

Employ militant nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience, which Martin Luther King Jr. used to great effect through the use of sit-ins, boycotts and marches.

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Friday, 21 August 2015

Marijuana Kills Cancer, Says National Cancer Institute

Kit Daniels


The institute recently updated its ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ page about marijuana to include various studies revealing how cannabis “may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow” while also protecting normal, healthy cells.

“A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that it caused cancer cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells,” the NCI stated. “Studies in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer showed that cannabinoids may lessen the growth, number, and spread of tumors.”

Here’s the NCI’s full list:
  • Studies in mice and rats have shown that cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells.
  • A study in mice showed that cannabinoids may protect against inflammation of the colon and may have potential in reducing the risk of colon cancer, and possibly in its treatment.
  • A laboratory study of delta-9-THC in hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) cells showed that it damaged or killed the cancer cells. The same study of delta-9-THC in mouse models of liver cancer showed that it had antitumor effects. Delta-9-THC has been shown to cause these effects by acting on molecules that may also be found in non-small cell lung cancer cells and breast cancer cells.
  • A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that it caused cancer cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells. Studies in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer showed that cannabinoids may lessen the growth, number, and spread of tumors.
  • A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in human glioma cells showed that when given along withchemotherapy, CBD may make chemotherapy more effective and increase cancer cell death without harming normal cells. Studies in mouse models of cancer showed that CBD together with delta-9-THC may make chemotherapy such as temozolomide more effective.
Additionally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse also referenced similar, recent studies which revealed “marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others.”
“Evidence from one animal study suggests that extracts from whole-plant marijuana can shrink one of the most serious types of brain tumors,” the NIDA said in April. “Research in mice showed that these extracts, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation.”

But you’re still going to jail if you get caught using it as medication in most states.

Oligarchal rule: Ukraine agribusiness firms in 'quiet land grab' using World Bank private lending funds

Claire Provost and Matt Kennard
The Guardian


Hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from World Bank's private lending arm used to expand industrial farms amid mounting concern about local effects.

Myronivsky Hliboproduct, a leading agribusiness firm that dominates the Ukrainian poultry market, has received at least £128m from the International Finance Corporation over the past five years. 

Hundreds of millions of dollars in development finance from the World Bank's investment arm have helped to fund the controversial expansion of a billionaire's agribusiness empire in Ukraine, amid growing concern that land and farming in the country are increasingly falling into the hands of a few wealthy individuals.

Controlled by one of Ukraine's wealthiest men, Yuriy Kosiuk, the agribusiness company Myronivsky Hliboproduct (MHP) dominates the country's domestic poultry market and exports chicken and luxuries such as foie gras across Europe. Since 2010, it has received at least $200m (£128m) in long-term loans from the bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Much of this funding has gone to support the building of Europe's largest industrial chicken farm in the middle of Ukraine's rural heartland. Almost 300km south of Kiev, the Vinnytsia poultry farm is part of an audacious effort to transform the country once known as "Europe's breadbasket" into its "meatbasket".

The IFC, which like all World Bank institutions has an explicit mandate to end global poverty, says its investments in MHP have created jobs and supported food security in Ukraine and beyond. Central to the IFC's mission is a policy to "do no harm" and achieve positive development outcomes by investing in the private sector.

But villagers living near the Vinnytsia project, which is already partially constructed and in operation, said no one is listening to their concerns about its impact on their area. They also said that people are being pressured into giving their land over to the project by signing long-term land leases.


The project is a massive complex, with slaughterhouses, hen houses, fields to grow crops to feed the chickens, and incubators for eggs. It is still expanding, and this expansion requires leasing extra land from nearby villages in order to construct more "rearing zones" for chickens and additional grain facilities. The second phase of construction is expected to be completed in 2017-18.

"There are growing fears about potential ecological and health impacts and extra pressure on local people to sign land lease agreements," said Natalia Kolomiets, environmental protection specialist at the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine (Necu). "It looks like once the business, the state and the investors are interested in having these projects, there is really little attention paid to local populations."

In villages already surrounded by the farm's facilities, residents said the smell and noise are overwhelming, and claimed their roads and houses have been damaged by heavy trucks driving past day and night.

"Before, it was calm and peaceful here," said one man in the village of Olyanitsa, pointing at cracks in his brick walls, which he said appeared after the trucks started driving through the village. "Now everything is vibrating ... look, everywhere, it's all broken."
Local NGOs have documented concerns about air, noise and potential water pollution since 2011, but the company dismissed the question of environmental concerns, saying it complies with all environmental regulations. Community leaders in Ulianovka, a small village on the frontlines of the project's expansion, said they have written to the company and to local authorities but that no one is listening to them.

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Why after a decade of education are our kids so uneducated?

Phillip J. Watt
The Mind Unleashed


It's clear that we need to redesign our education model. An example that we can all relate to is simply asking ourselves what information do we need to live an honourable, healthy and happy life, and of that, what is provided through the school system? The answer is almost none of it.

It is up to the parents, mentors, peers and other societal influences to fill these gaps, but we all know this doesn't regularly occur. If the guides and teachers in a child's life don't have the knowledge and skills to properly inform and take care of themselves, then how can they be expected to share it with others? They literally can't, which is why we need an effective safety net to provide all the information that our children need to develop into awakened, functional and wholesome adults.

The education system in western society is not geared towards providing what's best for each child. Primarily it is designed to produce citizens who contribute to, and consume from, the interdependent global economy. It's like a factory assembly line; what mundane 9-5 job are we best suited to live a stressed out adult existence?

It is in this sense that we are indoctrinated through our schooling to uncritically accept the system that we are born into, regardless if it means ill health and discontentment for the individual and our society as a whole. The model is simply designing the new generations into robotic slaves of the old ways when we are undertaking multiple paradigm shifts into a new era of human civilisation.

However, it's not just the systemic box that we're squashed into; our kids are being lied to in many ways. There is also little focus on real education, such as equipping them with the creative, personal, emotional, social and other life skills to properly survive and thrive in today's challenging society. For example, emotional and social skills are a "different way of being smart" and are extremely important for kids to learn at a young age, so why aren't they a primary focus?  


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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Updated NASA Data: Global Warming Not Causing Any Polar Ice Retreat

Comment: Just a little reminder from earlier this year....

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James Taylor
forbes.com

Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede.

The timing of the 1979 NASA satellite instrument launch could not have been better for global warming alarmists. The late 1970s marked the end of a 30-year cooling trend. As a result, the polar ice caps were quite likely more extensive than they had been since at least the 1920s. Nevertheless, this abnormally extensive 1979 polar ice extent would appear to be the “normal” baseline when comparing post-1979 polar ice extent.

Updated NASA satellite data show the polar ice caps remained at approximately their 1979 extent until the middle of the last decade. Beginning in 2005, however, polar ice modestly receded for several years. By 2012, polar sea ice had receded by approximately 10 percent from 1979 measurements. 

(Total polar ice area – factoring in both sea and land ice – had receded by much less than 10 percent, but alarmists focused on the sea ice loss as “proof” of a global warming crisis.)
NASA satellite measurements show the polar ice caps have not retreated at all.

A 10-percent decline in polar sea ice is not very remarkable, especially considering the 1979 baseline was abnormally high anyway. Regardless, global warming activists and a compliant news media frequently and vociferously claimed the modest polar ice cap retreat was a sign of impending catastrophe. Al Gore even predicted the Arctic ice cap could completely disappear by 2014.

In late 2012, however, polar ice dramatically rebounded and quickly surpassed the post-1979 average. Ever since, the polar ice caps have been at a greater average extent than the post-1979 mean.

Now, in May 2015, the updated NASA data show polar sea ice is approximately 5 percent above the post-1979 average.

During the modest decline in 2005 through 2012, the media presented a daily barrage of melting ice cap stories. Since the ice caps rebounded – and then some – how have the media reported the issue?

The frequency of polar ice cap stories may have abated, but the tone and content has not changed at all. Here are some of the titles of news items I pulled yesterday from the front two pages of a Google News search for “polar ice caps”:

Climate change is melting more than just the polar ice caps
2020: Antarctic ice shelf could collapse
An Arctic ice cap’s shockingly rapid slide into the sea
New satellite maps show polar ice caps melting at ‘unprecedented rate’

The only Google News items even hinting that the polar ice caps may not have melted so much (indeed not at all) came from overtly conservative websites. The “mainstream” media is alternating between maintaining radio silence on the extended run of above-average polar ice and falsely asserting the polar ice caps are receding at an alarming rate.

To be sure, receding polar ice caps are an expected result of the modest global warming we can expect in the years ahead. In and of themselves, receding polar ice caps have little if any negative impact on human health and welfare, and likely a positive benefit by opening up previously ice-entombed land to human, animal, and plant life. Nevertheless, polar ice cap extent will likely be a measuring stick for how much the planet is or is not warming.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Half Of Young Adults In Great Britain Don't Identify As Straight

Vocative

 

Over half of adults aged 18-to-24 in Great Britain identify as something other than exclusively heterosexual, according to a new survey.

Market research firm YouGov polled 1,632 adults, asking respondents to report their sexual identity using the Kinsey scale—a measuring system created by noted sexologist Alfred Kinsey, where 0 is “exclusively heterosexual” and 6 is “exclusively homosexual.” It found that 28% of all participants identify as something other than straight. This jumps to 54% for those aged 18-to-24.

Overall, 72 percent identified as exclusively heterosexual and four percent said they were exclusively homosexual, compared to 46 percent and six percent, respectively, for 18-to-24 year olds. The others were scattered along the spectrum, though in all age groups bisexuals were mostly clumped around 1 on the Kinsey scale, meaning they are closer to exclusive heterosexuality. 

The figures show that sexual fluidity is more likely the younger someone is. Of respondents aged 18-to-24, 52 percent saw their sexuality as fixed (either straight or gay), with this number growing with age: 67 percent of 25-to-39 year olds, 81 percent of 40-to-59 year olds, and 89 percent of those aged 60+ 

Read More

Cui bono: Who benefits from the Bangkok bombing?


Pepe Escobar
Asia Times


The Guy in the Yellow T-shirt — long shorts, unruly black hair, thick dark glasses — arrived at the Erawan shrine in a tuk-tuk. No one may have noticed him; just another nondescript backpacker in one of the busiest crossroads in Asia. He may have come to pay his respects to the golden statue of Brahma at the center of the shrine - and gaze on the Thai dancers and musicians in the background.

He sits on a bench. Then, slowly, he gets rid of a black backpack. He stands up, checks his mobile. Then he walks away. Stops. Actually seems to be calling someone on his mobile. Then he finally leaves Erawan, hitting the crowded intersection, clutching a white plastic bag, but always checking his phone.

He may - or may not - have known all his movements were being tracked by multiple CCTV cameras. A few minutes after he disappears from their sights, and allegedly takes a motorbike taxi, he enters, with a lethal bang, the wilderness of mirrors that is contemporary Thailand.

Who is he? Thai police is convinced he is none other than the Bangkok Bomber. And there seem to be no other prime CCTV-captured candidates.

The first leak described him as an "Arab-like man". That's quite vague - as there is a huge, bustling mini-Middle East only two Skytrain stations away from the Erawan shrine. But that was enough to ring all al Qaeda/ISIS bells across the planet.

Then a quote was wrongly attributed to General Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the head of the - quaintly Orwellian - National Council for Peace and Order which rules over Thailand after a coup in May 2014. Prayuth was actually referring to someone else when he stated that the suspect was believed to be a northeast-based Red Shirt member - as in a faithful follower of self-exiled, corruption-tainted, billionaire tycoon/former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

And that's Thai wilderness of mirrors in full regalia. The Guy in the Yellow T-shirt may be an Arab terrorist; he may be an indigenous anti-military Red Shirt operative; he might even be something in between - a Thai Muslim separatist. 


Read more
 

Monday, 17 August 2015

8 Reasons Why The Telegraph Thinks The Market Doomsday Clock Is One Minute To Midnight

Zero Hedge

"Time is now rapidly running out," warns The Telegraph's John Ficenec as the British paper takes a deep dive into the dark realities behind the mainstream media headlines continued faith in central planning. Sounding very "Zero Hedge", Ficenec warns that from China to Brazil, the central banks have lost control and at the same time the global economy is grinding to a halt. It is only a matter of time before stock markets collapse under the weight of their lofty expectations and record valuations.

There are signs things could get a whole lot worse.. (via The Telegraph)

1 - China slowdown

China was the great saviour of the world economy in 2008. The launching of an unprecedented stimulus package sparked an infrastructure investment boom. The voracious demand for commodities to fuel its construction boom dragged along oil- and resource-rich emerging markets.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: China cannot risk the global chaos of currency devaluation
Why China has devalued the renminbi

The Chinese economy has now hit a brick wall. Economic growth has dipped below 7pc for the first time in a quarter of a century, according to official data. That probably means the real economy is far weaker.

Read more


 

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Terrorism is “Made in the USA”. The “Global War on Terrorism” is a Fabrication, A Big Lie

US-NATO Military Deployments, Economic Warfare, Goldman Sachs and the Next Financial Meltdown

Michel Chossoudovsky
Black Listed News

What is the relationship between war in a military theater and “economic warfare”? An act of war is invariably an economic undertaking which supports dominant corporate interests. The conduct of US-NATO military operations is carried out on behalf of powerful financial institutions. 

US led wars in the Middle East under the humanitarian mantle of the “global war on terrorism” largely serve the interests of Wall Street, the Anglo-American oil conglomerates, the so-called ‘defense contractors”, the biotech conglomerates (Monsanto et al), Big Pharma and the corporate media.

But modern warfare is by no means limited to the sphere of military and intelligence operations.

Washington not only imposes economic sanctions on countries which do not support its imperial agenda, it also fosters the outright destabilization of national economies. While the Pentagon and NATO coordinate military operations against sovereign countries, Wall Street carries out concurrent destabilizing actions on financial markets including the rigging of the oil, gold and foreign exchange markets directed against Russia and China.

It’s called “financial warfare”, it’s part of the same global agenda, it’s implemented alongside and in coordination with the Worldwide deployment of the US-NATO’s military machine.

In this regard, Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” directed against China involving the deployment of US naval forces in the South China Sea, is reinforced through concurrent destabilizing actions on the Shanghai stock exchange. The ultimate intent is to undermine –through non-military means– the national economy of the People’s Republic of China.

War and Financial Warfare

Is financial warfare coordinated with political decision-making pertaining to major military and intelligence operations?

Acts of financial warfare require intelligence;  they often require consultation and coordination at the highest levels of government. While the decision making process between the military-intelligence apparatus and the corporate financial system is by no means integrated, it nonetheless overlaps through a system of cross appointments and consultations.

Overlapping appointments

Amply documented, the mega-banking institutions on Wall Street and their related hedge funds exert their influence at the highest levels of the US government including the State Department, the Pentagon and the White House.


The system of cross-appointments together with corporate lobbying is part of this process.  National security advisers and former Pentagon officials are appointed to the World Bank,  etc.  Former prime ministers, senior government officials take on consulting positions with major banking institutions,  CIA officials are involved as advisers in key trade negotiations, etc. Conversely, Wall Street bankers are appointed to key positions in government.

In early August, Goldman Sachs appointed NATO’s former Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen as a financial consultant.

Over the last five years (2009-2014), Rasmussen was actively involved in coordinating NATO’s humanitarian bombing raids in the Middle East not to mention NATO military deployments on Russia’s doorstep in Eastern Europe, the Baltic States and the Black Sea.

During his stint as Prime Minister of Denmark (2001-2009), Rasmussen was involved (under a neoliberal policy agenda) in dismantling Denmark’s welfare state alongside the privatization of state assets.
Rasmussen’s consulting advice will be used as part of Goldman’s political lobbying in the EU, namely the process of influencing political and strategic decision making.

Moreover, Goldman’s multibillion dollar investment decisions, its inside trading operations, its various speculative actions on the commodities, forex, precious metals markets, etc, require detailed inside information/ political coordination pertaining to geopolitical and military affairs.

Rasmussen joins a long list of  prominent officials and political personalities who are acting as consultants for Goldman Sachs.

Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel who was Obama’s Chief of Staff, was also consultant to Goldman. His role “was to “introduce us to people”, in the words of one Goldman Sachs partner at the time.”

Peter Sutherland who was EU commissioner, trade negotiator and subsequently Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was appointed in 2005 to Goldman Sachs as a non-executive Chairman. He ended his 20 year stint with Goldman in 2015.

Robert Zoellick, former president of the World Bank joined Goldman Sachs in 2013 as chairman of the bank’s board of international advisers. Zoellick had previously held several high ranking positions in the US administration. He was Deputy Secretary of State (2005–2006) under the Bush administration.


It works both ways: government officials are appointed to Goldman; in turn Goldman Sachs officials are appointed to key positions in government.  George W. Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson (2006-2009) (image left) was a former Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO. He was appointed to the Treasury two years before the 2008 financial crash.

These appointments enable Goldman Sachs among other Wall Street mega banks to manipulate government policy.

It also provides them with an inroad into the corridors of the Treasury, not to mention the central banks: e.g, the notorious appointment of  a former Goldman Sachs official (and Canadian citizen) Mark Carney to the position of governor of the Bank of England. Carney previously held  the position of Governor of the Bank of Canada. He also heads the G20′s Financial Stability Board.

Mario Draghi, was vice chairman and managing director of Goldman Sachs International (2002–2005), before his appointment as Governor of the Bank of Italy (2005-2009). In 2011, he was appointed Governor of the European Central Bank (ECB).



Goldman Sachs is a Trojan Horse with its former banking officials deployed in key governmental positions.  These appointments provide Goldman Sachs with the ability to influence and oversee the conduct of macro-economic policy.
Moreover, their former officials will provide them with inside information emanating from within the governmental structure. –i.e market rigging by major financial institutions will invariably require advanced knowledge regarding actions or decisions taken  within the government and military-intelligence apparatus.

Regulating The Next Wall Street Financial Crash 


Barely acknowledged by the financial media, another notorious appointment of a Goldman official pertains to the Security and Exchanges Commission (SEC)  In May 2015, Goldman official Andrew J. “Buddy” Donohue  was appointed SEC chief of staff for Mary Jo White which enables him to “regulate Wall Street” so to speak on behalf of Wall Street.
This is a timely appointment. Financial markets including the multi-trillion trade in derivatives are in a state of disarray. They are exceedingly unstable, largely as a result of market rigging and speculative activity by powerful actors, not to mention the lack of regulatory procedures.

Goldman Sachs Inc. played a central role in the 2008 financial meltdown, with their former chairman and CEO Henry Paulson in charge of the US Treasury.

In a bitter irony, Institutional speculators  are in charge of regulating financial markets. The next financial crash, were it to occur, will be be “regulated” by the SEC with former Goldman Sachs official Andrew J. “Buddy” Donohue in the driver’s seat, acting on behalf of a handful of “too big to fail, too big to jail” financial institutions.

Let us not despair: Goldman Sachs does not control the US Treasury.  It’s in the hands of a former Citigroup official Jacob Lew -who according to expert opinion is slated to act “responsibly” in the case of a stock market crisis.



During his stint at Citigroup which preceded the 2008 financial crisis, Lew was in charge of a speculative hedge fund investment unit which consisted according to a 2010 Huffington Post Report in shorting or betting “on the housing market to collapse.”:
[Concern was expressed when he was appointed Budget Director regarding] his unit’s investments in a hedge fund that bet on the housing market to collapse — a reality suffered by millions of American homeowners.  … But in an age in which the housing collapse led to a financial upheaval that cost 8 million American jobs and plunged the nation into its deepest recession since the Great Depression, bets [coordinated by Jack Lew] that profited off the collapse may not be perceived in the best light.
It is worth noting that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was also involved in what is best described as “legal tax evasion” through the transfer of Citigroup funds to the Cayman islands. According to the Weekly Standard (February 2013), Jack Lew:
oversaw as many as a hundred Cayman Island investments when he worked at Citi Bank as chief operating officer of the alternative investment services unit, SEC disclosures reveal. It has previously been reported that Lew himself had been invested in a fund that was based in the Cayman Islands.  …
SEC documents ending in the year 2007 reveal that at least 90 subsidiaries of Citi were based in the Cayman Islands. A couple weeks later, in January 2008, Jack Lew took the high-ranking executive job at Citi.
Names of the Citi subsidiaries include: Asia Mortgage Finance, Azabu Credit Management Company Ltd., Alternative Investments MGR, Ltd., Asia Enterprise III Offshore L.P., Baltic Pharma Limited, BISYS Hedge Fund Director Services Limited, Brennan Limited, and many, many more.
By the end of 2008 that number of Citi subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands, which fell under the jurisdiction Lew was in charge of, jumped to 113.
In the 2012 presidential campaign, the Obama campaign called Mitt Romney’s own Cayman Island investments “bets against America.”
But only months after the election ended, Obama nominated his former chief of staff Jack Lew, who himself had similar investments and even oversaw investment funds there, to be the next treasury secretary.
When asked this morning [February 13, 2013]  at a Capitol Hill hearing about his investment in the Cayman Islands-based fund, Lew plead ignorance. He claimed today that he “actually didn’t know” the fund he invested in was housed in the Cayman Islands. Besides, he said, my “benefit was really very small.”
Financial Meltdown. Could it happen Again?

Who are the main actors?

We are dealing with a complex process of rigging and manipulation. This article has skimmed the surface focussing on selected key appointments on behalf of Wall Street’s mega banks.

Let us address the issue of so-called “fiscal responsibility”:

A speculator and tax evader (Jack Lew) is in charge of fiscal and monetary policy at the US Treasury and the regulation of major US stock markets at the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is in the hands of Goldman Sachs, which also means that the SEC cannot be used to indict Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup et al. on charges of inside trading and financial fraud.

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