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Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO

Washington's Blog

The New York Times loves NATO, but should you?

Judging by comments in social media and the real world, millions of people in the United States have gone from having little or no opinion on NATO, or from opposing NATO as the world’s biggest military force responsible for disastrous wars in places like Afghanistan (for Democrats) or Libya (for Republicans), to believing NATO to be a tremendous force for good in the world.

I believe this notion to be propped up by a series of misconceptions that stand in dire need of correction.


 1. NATO is not a war-legalizing body, quite the opposite. NATO, like the United Nations, is an international institution that has something or other to do with war, but transferring the UN’s claimed authority to legalize a war to NATO has no support whatsoever in reality. The crime of attacking another nation maintains an absolutely unaltered legal status whether or not NATO is involved. Yet NATO is used within the U.S. and by other NATO members as cover to wage wars under the pretense that they are somehow more legal or acceptable. This misconception is not the only way in which NATO works against the rule of law. Placing a primarily-U.S. war under the banner of NATO also helps to prevent Congressional oversight of that war. Placing nuclear weapons in “non-nuclear” nations, in violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty, is also excused with the claim that the nations are NATO members (so what?). And NATO, of course, assigns nations the responsibility to go to war if other nations go to war — a responsibility that requires them to be prepared for war, with all the damage such preparation does.

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Cop Gets Just 90 Days in Jail for Horrific Child Porn as Man Selling Weed Gets 5 YEARS

Matt Agorist
Free Thought Project

(Support Free Thought) - Columbus, OH — A community is outraged this week as a former Columbus police officer of 20 years was sentenced to just 90 days in jail for possession and distribution of child porn involving small children. Meanwhile, a man in Louisiana who happened to get caught selling a plant to willing customers was sentenced to over 5 years behind bars.

Former Columbus Division of Police Sgt. Dean Worthington had been a police officer for over 20 years before being busted. During that time—as he allegedly served the public—he’d been secretly participating in and contributing to a vile child pornography ring.

According to NBC4i, in November, Worthington pleaded guilty to four counts of sex-related charges including illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance and three counts of pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor.

On Thursday, Worthington was handed down a 9-year sentence. However, due to his status as a former police officer, all but 90 days of it was suspended. His defense even had the audacity to ask for simple probation for the horrific exploitation of small children.

Worthington’s AA sponsor and his ex-wife both spoke in court in defense of the child predator, claiming that it is unlikely that he will commit these crimes again. However, as multiple studies show, child predators have a hard time stopping, even after jail.

“Between January and July of 2018, it is alleged that Worthington uploaded an image to Tumblr and downloaded multiple videos and images depicting young children engaging in sexual activity with adults,” Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said in a press release.

Tumblr tipped off police to Worthington’s actions and a search warrant was issued. During a raid on Worthington’s property, multiple devices were found — including 6 cell phones, laptops, and hard drives — all of which contained the horrifying content.

Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center executive director Cathy Harper Lee is not happy with this slap on the wrist.

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Israel's Top Commander Finally Spills Secrets Of "Invisible War" In Syria

Zero Hedge

For years Israel denied allegations that it had a role in funding and weaponizing the anti-Assad insurgency in Syria, and more often military officials responded "no comment" even when confronted with overwhelming evidence of Israeli weapons documented in al-Qaeda linked insurgents' hands, but this all changed in a new British Sunday Times interview with outgoing Israeli army commander Gadi Eisenkot, who has finally confirmed the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) supplied weapons to rebels across the border "for self-defense," and further perhaps more stunningly, has admitted to long waging an "invisible war in Syria" that involved "thousands of attacks".

The interview constitutes the first time that any current top Israeli military or government official has fully acknowledged sending anything beyond "humanitarian supplies," such as medical aid to Syrian militants seeking to topple the Assad government; and yet it still appears the country's military chief is slow playing the confirmation, only acknowledging the IDF provided "light weapons" — even after years of reporting has definitively uncovered an expansive Israeli program to arm dozens of insurgent groups and pay their salaries, includingknown affiliates of al-Qaeda in Syria.

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Monday, 14 January 2019

Australia Becomes First Western Nation to Ban Secure Encryption


Australia is now the first Western nation to ban security, following a decision by its parliament to pass a bill forcing companies to hand over encrypted data to police upon demand. The government will be allowed to demand this without judicial review or oversight of any kind, beyond the requirement to get a warrant in the first place. Furthermore, the law requires corporations to build tools to give them the ability to intercept data sought by police when such tools do not already exist. 

While the bill has only passed Australia’s lower chamber, the upper chamber has indicated it will pass the legislation provided there are later votes on unspecified amendments to the current bill.

Australia has become the first nation to enact into legislation what both the UK and US governments very much want — government-mandated backdoors into encryption systems that require corporations to hand over data on demand. The response of the tech industry has been straightforward: There is no way to perform this task that does not fundamentally weaken security. 

And for all that journalism is often the process of laying out multiple sides to an argument or debate, there’s no actual debate to be had, here — not, at least, as far as the security principles are concerned. We can certainly debate whether people should be entitled to privacy, or if the governments of nominally free countries should have access to this information in the first place. But as to whether it’s actually possible to build secret backdoors into security systems without fundamentally weakening them, the evidence is simple: No.

As Cindy Cohn wrote in a recent post on Lawfare Blog:

Even without compromising the cryptography, there is no way to allow access for only the good guys (for instance, law enforcement with a Title III warrant) and not for the bad guys (hostile governments, commercial spies, thieves, harassers, bad cops and more). The NSA has had several incidents in just the past few years where it lost control of its bag of tricks, so the old government idea called NOBUS—that “nobody but us” could use these attacks—isn’t grounded in reality. Putting the keys in the hands of technology companies instead of governments just moves the target for hostile actors. And it’s unrealistic to expect companies to both protect the keys and get it right each time in their responses to hundreds of thousands of law enforcement and national security requests per year from local, state, federal and foreign jurisdictions. History has shown that it’s only a matter of time before bad actors figure out how to co-opt the same mechanisms that good guys use—whether corporate or governmental—and become “stalkers” themselves. 

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Doug Casey On Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: "Evil On A Basic Level"

"I’m afraid Alexandria is evil on a basic level. I know that sounds silly. How can that be true of a cute young girl who says she wants just sunshine and unicorns for everybody? It’s too bad the word “evil” has been so compromised, so discredited, by the people who use it all the time – bible-thumpers, hysterics, and religious fanatics. Evil shouldn’t be associated with horned demons and eternal perdition. It just means something destructive, or recklessly injurious."


Zero Hedge via
Justin’s note: America can’t stop talking about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC).

AOC, if you haven’t heard, is a 29-year-old democratic socialist. Earlier this month, she became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

And that concerns me. I say this because her platform is every socialist’s dream. She wants Medicare to be free. She wants college education to be free. She wants to cancel student debt. She wants to hike the minimum wage to $15. And she wants to replace oil and gas with green energy by 2030.

Now, I realize these ideas might sound good to some people. But none of this would come free. It would require massive tax hikes and a lot more national debt. 

In short, she’s advocating for policies that often destroy entire economies.

Yet, she’s one of today’s most popular political figures.

I wanted to see what Casey Research founder Doug Casey thinks of AOC and her policies. So I got him on the phone to discuss his thoughts for this week’s Conversations With Casey...

Justin: Doug, AOC has been getting a lot of press lately. What are your thoughts on her? 

Specifically, what do you think of her platform and her idea for a Green New Deal?

Doug: Most likely she’s the future of the Democratic Party – and of the U.S. Why? She’s cute, vivacious, charming, different, outspoken, and has a plan to Make America Great Again. And she’s shrewd. She realized she could win by ringing doorbells in her district, where voter turnout was very low, and about 70% are non-white. There was zero motivation for residents to turn out for the tired, corrupt, old hack of a white man she ran against.

She’s certainly politically astute – but doesn’t seem very intelligent. In fact, she’s probably quite stupid. But let’s define the word stupid, otherwise, it’s just a meaningless pejorative – name-calling.

But in fact it doesn’t seem like she has a very high IQ. I suspect that if she took a standardized IQ test, she’d be someplace in the low end of the normal range. But that’s just conjecture on my part, entirely apart from the fact a high IQ doesn’t necessarily correlate with success. Besides, there are many kinds of intelligence – athletic, aesthetic, emotional, situational…

A high IQ can actually be a disadvantage in getting elected. Remember it’s a bell-shaped curve; the “average” person isn’t terribly smart, compounded by the fact half the population has an IQ of less than 100. And they’re suspicious of anyone who’s more than, say, 15 points smarter than they are.

However, there are better ways to define stupid than “a low score on an IQ test,” that apply to Alexandria. Stupid is the inability to not just predict the immediate and direct consequences of actions, but especially the indirect and delayed consequences of your actions.

She’s clearly unable to do that. She can predict the immediate and direct consequences of the policies she’s promoting – everybody getting excited about liberating all other people’s wealth that just seems to be sitting around. Power to the People, and Alexandria! But she’s unable to see the indirect and delayed consequences of her policies – which I hope I don’t have to explain to anyone now reading this.

If you promise people unicorns, lollipops, and free everything, they’re going to say, “Gee, I like that, let’s do it.” She’s clever on about a third grade level.

But there’s an even better definition of stupid. Namely, “an unwitting tendency to self-destruction.” All the economic ideas that she’s proposing are going to wind up absolutely destroying the country.

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Saturday, 12 January 2019

Who is Newsguard? NeoCons Test Drive Newest Weapon to Crush Indie Media, Put MintPress in Their Crosshairs

Mnar Muharwesh
Mint Press News

The website [MintPress] does not disclose its liberal bent. For example, a January 2019 story was titled, “New Senate anti-BDS Bill Unconstitutional and Ineffective at Curbing Boycotts.” … Would you like to comment about making any political leanings transparent to online readers? — Question submitted by Newsguard to MintPress News

MINNEAPOLIS —  A recently founded venture claiming to be “a news rating agency” is making its big breakout in 2019 by claiming to be an authority at the forefront in the fight against “fake news.” Newsguard — which describes itself as an organization dedicated to “restoring trust and accountability” and using “journalism to fight false news, misinformation, and disinformation” — has begun targeting independent and alternative media organizations, including MintPress News, with a questionnaire developed to frame its victims as being on the political fringe and lacking professionalism and journalistic integrity in order to rank them as “unreliable” news sites.

Jennie Kamin, a reporter for Newsguard as well as an associate producer at CBS News, contacted me on Monday with a list of eight loaded questions that were crafted to put me on the defensive and undermine MintPress’ credibility from the get-go. Not only that, but the questions also frame MintPress as having a secret agenda aimed at hiding its ownership and funding. 

Since Ms. Kamin had begun her work by failing to go to our website to find the obvious answers to her questions, it seemed clear that she was less interested in finding facts than in casting aspersions. As a consequence, it seemed that my answers wouldn’t really matter — except perhaps as they might play into her prejudgments. For example, one of her questions asked about MintPress’ funding, which is actually explained on each page and article on our website. Ironically, the questions regarding our funding came just as MintPress is concluding its semi-annual fundraising campaign to raise $25,000. Another question from Kamin referred to photos on our website not being properly attributed, even though each and every photo on our site is clearly captioned and attributed to its source.

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UK councils invest £566m in arms firms linked to Yemen war

More than half a billion pounds of council workers’ pension money has been directly invested by local authorities in arms companies implicated in Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen, in which thousands of civilians have been killed.

Council pension funds have sizeable shareholdings in BAE Systems, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, according to nearly 100 freedom of information requests.

Between them, 43 pension funds directly hold shares worth £566m in the five companies and earned more than £18.5m in dividends in 2018, a period in which civilian deaths reportedly surged and a punishing famine took hold.

The councils also hold hundreds of millions of pounds in shares in the five companies via pooled investments, which they do not control directly.

The holdings mean thousands of local authority staff will have their retirement payouts part-funded by the companies, some of which manufacture arms linked to incidents in which civilians and children were killed.

The Guardian gathered the data through the freedom of information website

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Friday, 11 January 2019

“Soft Coup” Ongoing Against Trump? Impeachment is the End Game

Stephen Lendman
Global Research

Turkey’s Daily Sabah broadsheet believes a soft coup is ongoing to oust Trump. It’s been brewing since his triumph over Hillary and inauguration in January 2017 – my view, not the newspaper’s.

Last year, I said pro-Hillary dark forces and other anti-Trump coup plotters keep throwing endless amounts of dirt against the wall, hoping enough sticks to oust him or undermine his presidency if removal efforts fail.

Things aren’t getting easier for him. Special council Mueller’s Russiagate witch hunt continues – despite discovering no evidence of Kremlin US election meddling nor an improper or illegal Trump connection to Russia.

Controlling the House, the undemocratic Dems plan investigations into Trump’s affairs, likely to continue to harass him for the wrong reasons, ignoring what’s most important – US policies both right wings of the nation’s war party agree on, along with serving privileged interests exclusively at the expense of ordinary people.

Once Mueller’s probe ends and a report is issued, House impeachment of Trump may follow – a likely futile effort to remove him from office with Republicans controlling the Senate.

The Constitution’s Article I, Section 2 empowers House members to impeach a sitting president, Senate members with sole power to try them – a two-thirds super-majority required to convict, what’s highly unlikely with Republicans controlling the upper house.

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The American Psychological Association goes to war against boys and men

Barbara Kay
The Post Millennial

The American Psychological Association (APA) has, for the first time in its history, come out with Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men.

One does not have to have read the entire 30,000 word document to appreciate its thrust: "traditional masculinity" is bad for society as well as to boys and men themselves. Stoicism, competitiveness and risk-taking, the qualities we consider desirable when they result in firefighting, search-and-rescue operations, self-sacrifice for women and children (see under Titanic) and combat in the defence of the nation, are, the APA believes, "psychologically harmful."

In a section called "masculine ideology," the APA says: "Masculine ideology is a set of descriptive, prescriptive, and proscriptive ... cognitions about boys and men (academic citations added). Although there are differences in masculinity ideologies, there is a particular constellation of standards that have held sway over large segments of the population, including: anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk and violence. These have been collectively referred to as traditional masculinity ideology." This statement seems to have been composed by someone who has to bite her or his tongue in order not to describe manly men as "deplorables."

Let's unpack this a bit. By "anti-femininity," the APA means homophobia, but homophobia as a systematic attitude was not so much a feature of traditional masculinity as of traditional society. Women in a previous era were as likely to mock homosexuals as men. "Violence" was never a yardstick for masculinity in our culture, although physicality is.

The others - achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, adventure, and risk-taking - are indeed masculine qualities, and they are not part of an "ideology," they are inherent. They are the qualities that brought humankind from caves to the Silk Road to global exploration across dangerous seas and to the moon landing. But the monumental accomplishments that can be traced directly to these masculine traits are of no interest to the APA. The Guidelines spew forth all the predictable shibboleths of social-justice warriordom - intersectionality, oppression, privilege, patriarchy, etc. Under the rubrics of Identity Politics, "traditional masculinity" is inherently toxic to women and other fragile people. 

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Thursday, 10 January 2019

The Vaccine Debate with Sharyl Atkisson

Today we investigate one of the biggest medical controversies of our time: vaccines. There’s little dispute about this much-- vaccines save many lives, and rarely, they injure or kill. A special federal vaccine court has paid out billions for injuries from brain damage to death. But not for the form of brain injury we call autism. Now—we have remarkable new information: a respected pro-vaccine medical expert used by the federal government to debunk the vaccine-autism link, says vaccines can cause autism after all. He claims he told that to government officials long ago, but they kept it secret. 


Full Measure is a weekly Sunday news program focusing on investigative, original and accountability reporting. The host is Sharyl Attkisson, five-time Emmy Award winner and recipient of the Edward R. Murrow award for investigative reporting. She is backed by a team of award winning journalists. Each week, we have a cover story that explores untouchable topics in a fearless way including: 

immigration, terrorism, government waste, national security and whistleblower reports on government and corporate abuse and misdeeds. Full Measure is broadcast to 43 million households in 79 markets on 162 Sinclair Broadcast Group stations, including ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW, MyTV, Univision and Telemundo affiliates.

It also streams live Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. ET. Read more about us at: Find out where to watch us at: Like us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter:

DARPA Proposes An AI That Can Monitor The Entire World For Threats

Chris Mahon
Outer Places

DARPA already has a reputation as the mad scientist lab of the defense industry (even if they try to deny their work on metahumans or cyborgs), but their previous projects pale in comparison to the sheer scope of their newest artificial intelligence proposal: KAIROS, short for "Knowledge-directed Artificial Intelligence Reasoning Over Schemas." Its purpose? To gaze at the reams of information coming in from all corners of the world to identify patterns and trends that could lead to terrorist attacks, fiscal crises, or other large-scale cataclysmic phenomena.

Many companies (and state intelligence agencies) have dealt with the rise of "Big Data" by utilizing artificial intelligence to sift through all the noise to find useful information.

Unfortunately, AI still has trouble seeing the big picture, especially when it comes to patterns that are obvious to humans. As DARPA program manager Dr. Boyan Onyshkevych describes it: "The process of uncovering relevant connections across mountains of information and the static elements that they underlie requires temporal information and event patterns, which can be difficult to capture at scale with currently available tools and systems."

So KAIROS is going to have to teach itself, first by learning what "schemas" are. In this case, schemas are like little narratives that help organize different events into recognizable patterns, like the process of going to the store and buying milk because you're thirsty. After building up an archive of recognized schemas, KAIROS will then need to start applying its knowledge to new data, eventually learning to recognize schemas and predict outcomes. Of course, the "new data" that it will be shown could be nearly anything, even seemingly random information.

If KAIROS does its job correctly, however, it should be able to make sense out of the chaos and pick out any hidden patterns, essentially allowing it to get a finger on the pulse of current events... Or even predict what will happen next.

You can read the official DARPA press release here.  

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A New Narrative Control Firm Works To Destroy Alternative Media

Caitlin Johnstone

The frenzied, hysterical Russia narrative being promoted day in and day out by western mass media has had two of its major stories ripped to shreds in the last three days.

A report seeded throughout the mainstream media by anonymous intelligence officials back in September claimed that US government workers in Cuba had suffered concussion-like brain damage after hearing strange noises in homes and hotels with the most likely culprit being "sophisticated microwaves or another type of electromagnetic weapon" from Russia. A recording of one such highly sophisticated attack was analyzed by scientists and turned out to be the mating call of the male indies short-tailed cricket. Neurologists and other brain specialists have challenged the claim that any US government workers suffered any neurological damage of any kind, saying test results on the alleged victims were misinterpreted. The actual story, when stripped of hyperventilating Russia panic, is that some government workers heard some crickets in Cuba.

Another report which dominated news headlines all of yesterday claimed that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort (the same Paul Manafort who the Guardian falsely claimed met with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy) had shared polling data with a Russian associate and asked him to pass it along to Oleg Deripaska, who is often labeled a "Russian oligarch" by western media. The polling data was mostly public already, and the rest was just more polling information shared in the spring of 2016, but Deripaska's involvement had Russiagaters burning the midnight oil with breathless excitement. Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall went so far as to publish an article titled "The 'Collusion' Debate Ended Last Night", substantiating his click-generating headline with the claim that "What's crystal clear is that the transfer to Kilimnik came with explicit instructions to give the information to Deripaska. And that's enough."

Except Manafort didn't give any explicit instructions to share the polling data with Deripaska, but with two Ukrainian oligarchs (who are denying it). The New York Times was forced to print this embarrassing correction to the story it broke, adding in the process that Manafort's motivation was likely not collusion, but money. 

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The Real 'Russian Trolls': Hamilton68 and The Alliance for Securing Democracy

Joe Quinn

Given that most people have already taken a position on the topic, it seems a bit late in the day to be pointing this out, but there is now clear evidence to suggest that the 'Russia hacked our election' claim is not only entirely false, but the people who made the claim in the first place - members of the US intelligence, political and corporate establishment (as well as other ideologues) - were and are themselves the creators of the only "Russian troll" social media accounts that have actually been shown to have done any 'hacking'.

A December 19th 2018 NY Times article revealed that a group of "Democratic tech experts" decided to use "similarly deceptive tactics" (as those imputed to Russian trolls) in the Alabama Senate race contested by Roy Moore in December 2017. An internal report on what is called the 'Alabama effort', obtained by The Times, says explicitly that it "experimented with many of the tactics now understood to have influenced the 2016 elections." The project's operators created a Facebook page on which they posed as conservative Alabamians, using it to try to divide Republicans and even to endorse a write-in candidate to draw votes from Mr. Moore. And how was the division sown?

"We orchestrated an elaborate 'false-flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet," the report says.

One participant in the Alabama project, Jonathon Morgan, is the chief executive of New Knowledge, a small cyber security firm that wrote a scathing account of Russia's social media operations in the 2016 election, and which was released this week by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Morgan said that the Russian botnet ruse "does not ring a bell," adding that others had worked on the effort and had written the report. He said he saw the project as "a small experiment" designed to explore how certain online tactics worked, not to affect the election. This appears to be a lie on both counts, given that, as the AL Senate race was in process, Morgan tweeted that the "Russian botnet" that he and others had created was "taking an interest" in the campaign. 

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See also: New Studies Show Pundits Are Wrong About Russian Social-Media Involvement in US Politics

Friday, 28 December 2018

Documents Expose British Government Covert Anti-Russian Propaganda and Truth Behind Skripal Case

"We have a programme, the Integrity Initiative, whose entire purpose is to pump out covert disinformation against Russia, through social media and news stories secretly paid for by the British government. And we have the Skripals' MI6 handler, the BBC, Porton Down, the FCO, the MOD and the US Embassy, working together in a group under the auspices of the Integrity Initiative."  


Craig Murray

It is worth starting by noting that a high percentage of the Integrity Initiative archive has been authenticated. The scheme has been admitted by the FCO and defended as legitimate government activity. Individual items like the minutes of the meeting with David Leask are authenticated. Not one of the documents has so far been disproven, or even denied.

Which tends to obscure some of the difficulties with the material. There is no metadata showing when each document was created, as opposed to when Anonymous made it into a PDF. Anonymous have released it in tranches and made plain there is more to come. The reason for this methodology is left obscure.

Most frustratingly, Anonymous' comments on the releases indicate that they have vital information which is not, so far, revealed. The most important document of all appears to be a simple contact list, of a particular group within the hundreds of contacts revealed in the papers overall. This is it in full: 

Tantalisingly, Anonymous describe this as a list of people who attended a meeting with the White Helmets. But there is no evidence of that in the document itself, nor does any other document released so far refer to this meeting. There is very little in the documents released so far about the White Helmets at all. But there is a huge amount about the Skripal case. With the greatest of respect to Anonymous and pending any release of further evidence, I want you to consider whether this might be a document related to the Skripal incident. 

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Former FBI Director James Comey testifies 'there's no deep state'

Comment: This blatant lying would be hilarious if there wasn't so many deluded people who actually believe what he says. Sure, butter wouldn't melt in the maw of the FBI  being only second to CIA corruption and deep state shennanigans. Comey is a slippery weasel and a primary example of how the upper echelons of the FBI have long been compromised. It's highly ironic that Trump - despite his many flaws - is the only president to openly work against that deep state., although it is highly improbable he'll have any success.


Shepard Ambellas 

While testifying in front of several prominent government committees last week, former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey maintained that a deep state simply does not exist within the ranks of the FBI and pointed out what bureau employees should really be fearful of is “speaking out” against President Donald Trump in any fashion. 

The rather artful propagandist said in a mini-diatribe that there is only “deep culture” in the FBI, one with a “commitment of integrity and the rule of law.”
Comey said:
We are going to be okay.  I’m asked all over the country that question, and people ask it with fear in their voice, “Are we going to be okay?”  Republicans, Democrats, and independents.  The answer is:  We’re going to be okay.
Because the culture of this nation, the culture of an institution like the FBI there’s no deep state.  There’s a deep culture, in the military, in the intelligence community, in the FBI — those three I know very well — a commitment to integrity and the rule of law. No president serves long enough to screw that up.  So the damage, by definition, will be short-term.  Still important, but short-term.  How short that term is depends upon the rest of us and whether we have the courage to risk our jobs and votes against us by standing up and saying this is not who we are and speaking out.
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South Front


The Israeli Air Force (IAF) carried out its recent airstrikes in Syria when two civilians planes were landing in Beirut and Damascus, putting passengers at risk, Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD) of Russia told reporters on December 26.
“Provocative acts by the Israeli Air Force endangered two passenger jets when six of their F-16s carried out airstrikes on Syria from Lebanese airspace,” RT quoted the spokesman as saying.
According to Konashenkov, the Syrian Arab Air Defense Forces (SyAADF) delayed the deployment of surface-to-air missiles and electronic jamming “to prevent a tragedy.” Meanwhile, the Damascus air traffic control diverted one of the passenger jets to a reserve airport in Khmeimim in southern Lattakia.

Konashenkov said that 6 Israeli F-16 warplanes used 16 US-made GPS-guided GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs) in the attack, which occurred at the late hours of December 25. Only 2 SDBs managed to hit their targets, while the rest were intercepted by the SyAADF.

Israeli media claimed that Israeli warplanes struck a shipment of Iranian-made Fajir-5 rockets, which was on its way to Hezbollah. However, the Ministry of Defense of Syria said that the “aggression” targeted an ammo depot of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) injuring three service members.

Last September, a Russian Il-20 plane was downed by Syrian air defense fire when Israeli warplanes used it as a cover to strike targets on the Syrian coast. The recent airstrikes show that Israel is now using the same tactic with civilian planes, which endangers the flights not only over Syria, but also over Lebanon and Jordan.

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Yellow Vests go global as protest movements around the globe adopt it

TRT World


The yellow vest movement has spread to several countries around the world who are protesting similar issues.



French Yellow Vests turned out in small numbers for the sixth Saturday of nationwide demonstrations, with one person killed in a road accident, the tenth to die since the protests began last month.

Since their peak on November 17 when 282,000 demonstrators came out in force, the turnout has fallen to around 166,000 on November 24, 136,000 on the first and eighth of December and 66,000 on December 15.

About 23,800 people were demonstrating on Saturday, including fewer than 1,000 in Paris. 
Even though the protests are slowly dwindling its symbolism became a global phenomenon.


Belgium was the first country to which the protests spread with protestors coming out against high tax rates and food prices.

Belgium has the highest tax revenue globally, just after France.

Some members of the movement began working to form a party for the federal and regional elections in May 2019, under the name Mouvement citoyen belge (The Belgian Citizen Movement).

Demonstrators gathered mostly in the capital of Brussels, at the end of November and beginning of December. 

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Thursday, 20 December 2018

Social media giants censor user content at Israel’s request

Middle East Monitor


Social media giants are collaborating with Israeli authorities to censor user content, according to a new update by legal rights centre Adalah.

Adalah is continuing to demand that Israel’s state attorney’s office closes its “Cyber Unit”, which works with companies like Facebook and YouTube to remove posts.

According to official data, in 2016 the unit submitted 2,241 content removal requests, of which 69 per cent of posts were duly removed. In 2017, the unit submitted a massive number of 12,351 content removal requests, 85 per cent of which were removed.

Adalah maintains that there are “constitutional and legal flaws inherent in the Cyber Unit’s activities”.

“The state attorney’s authority in such issues is limited to the possibility of retroactively appealing to the courts and bringing suspects to trial,” Adalah stated.

“The court is the only body authorised to determine whether a particular social media post constitutes a crime and to order punitive measures,” it added.

According to Adalah, “Israel’s dramatic increase in online censorship in 2017, without any legal authorisation and in violation of a series of basic principles in constitutional and administrative law, raises the real concern of a potential spillover of state censorship of protected publications.”

The Cyber Unit began its work during the second half of 2015 and is responsible for “dealing with cyberspace enforcement challenges” via censorship of social media posts.

Adalah explained that “Cyber Unit clerks and administrative officials decide for themselves, within the framework of an alternative enforcement system, if a certain instance of expression “is incitement to violence and terror, and support of a terror organisation”

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UK-funded 'Integrity Initiative' Exposed Infiltrating European Media Through Fake News Factories

RT /

It's been over a month since hackers began exposing the Scotland-based 'Integrity Initiative' as a UK government-funded propaganda outfit - and gradually new details of the organization's clandestine activities have come to light.

The documents were leaked by a group which claims to be associated with the Anonymous hackers. The first batch of leaks revealed the Integrity Initiative (II) was stealthily operating "clusters" of influencers across Europe working to ensure pro-UK narratives dominate the media.

Comment: That's not so bad in itself, but this was more than simple shameless self-promotion: British spooks and establishment figures were caught clandestinely influencing who does and does not get (s)elected into official positions in other European countries, on the basis of their 'proper ideological worldview'. For these people, the meaning of the word 'integrity' is very different from what most of us understand by it.

The second batch showed that the organization was also running disinformation campaigns domestically - specifically a smear campaign against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn; all done under the guise of combatting "Russian propaganda."

Comment: Same as they did regarding Trump. Corbyn may be 'of the Left', but he clearly has - from the perspective of the deep state - more in common with the US president than relatively superficial differences suggest.

Now, a third batch of leaks has exposed that the project allegedly operated much like a modern-day version of Operation Mockingbird - a secretive 1950s project whereby the CIA worked hand-in-glove with willing journalists in major media outlets to ensure certain narratives were adhered to. Only this time, it's a UK-funded organization with deep links to the intelligence services and military passing itself off as a non-partisan "charity." 

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Doctoring Data - Science has turned to darkness

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick
Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Blog

As readers of this blog know I was obliterated from Wikipedia recently. Many have expressed support and told me not to get down about it. To be perfectly frank, the only time I knew I was on Wikipedia was when someone told me I was going to be removed. So it hasn't caused great psychological trauma.

In fact my feelings about this are probably best expressed on a Roman tombstone. It has been translated in different ways, but my favourite version is the following:

I was not
I was
I am not
I care not

However, whilst my removal from Wiki is, in one way, completely irrelevant in the greater scheme of things. In another way it is hugely important. As Saladin said of Jerusalem, whilst he was battling with the Christians during the crusades. 'Jerusalem is nothing; Jerusalem is everything.'

My removal from Wikipedia is nothing. My removal from Wikipedia is everything. Not because it is me, but because of what it represents. No to beat about the bush, there is a war going on out there between scientific enlightenment, and the forces of darkness.

You think that is too dramatic? Well, this is what Richard Horton - editor of the Lancet for many years - has to say.

'The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be has taken a turn towards darkness.' - Richard Horton
Science has taken a turn towards darkness... Of course science cannot really turn anywhere. It is not an entity. Science is simply made up of people. The scientific method itself, is simply an attempt to discover what is factually true, by being as objective as possible and removing human bias. It is, like everything humans do, imperfect. Bias is always there. 

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It is flu season again: Let the propaganda begin

Richard Gale & Gary Null
Progressive Radio Network

The influenza season is again upon us and the CDC's blitzkrieg of fear tactics to compel every citizen to rush to their doctors, hospitals or pharmacies to get vaccinated is underway. We have witnessed this ritual many times before. It is has become an annual rite for the world's most heavily vaccinated population. Mainstream media outlets blast us with stories of the first influenza deaths and images of smiling children getting vaccinated. And this pageantry will continue for the next several months. The government has a lot of vaccines to get rid of and they can thank the media for doing their advertising for them.

However, popular attitudes towards the influenza vaccine have been waning. For the reason, we can expect the propaganda to be particularly fierce this year. The vaccine's track record is not impressive. Consistently, it fails to meet the medical establishment's promises. This is no surprise. Quite simply, influenza vaccines are horrible, ineffective drugs.

We can look back through the years and find plenty of reasons for why more and more people are skeptical about seasonal flu vaccination. Research indicates that during the fake swine flu scare in 2009, Glaxo's Pandermrix flu vaccine was associated with a 1400% increase in narcolepsy risk, "an incurable, debilitating condition" associated with acute brain damage.[1] A team of Finnish scientists at Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare, recorded 800 cases of narcolepsy associated with this vaccine. Vaccine ingredients other than the engineered viral antigen are most often believed to be the primary culprits to adverse vaccine reactions. The Finnish research, on the other hand, indicated that the vaccine's altered viral nucleotide likely contributed to the sudden rise in sleeping sickness.[2]

Although Pandermrix was pulled from the market, it should never have been approved and released in the first place. This is a classic case of regulatory negligence by health officials and the WHO which disseminates flu vaccines around the world. Like all vaccines, which are now commonly fast tracked through government health regulatory bodies for rapid release upon the public, it should have been tested and reviewed more thoroughly.

Since the time of Edward Jenner's primitive inoculation experiments to combat smallpox and the countless deaths that followed throughout the 19th century, modern vaccine science has failed to learn its lessons. The British government has paid out over 63 million pounds to cover lawsuits from Pandermrix victims. Glaxo never admitted its flu vaccine caused brain damage.[3]

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Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Hundreds of police departments have secretly created public safety watchlists

mass private I


To everyone that thinks secret watchlists are nothing more than a conspiracy theory I give you, law enforcement's secret public safety watchlists.

The name of the company responsible for creating public safety watchlists should say it all but I digress.

A recent article in Xconomy reveals that law enforcement is using Suspect Technologies facial recognition software to create secret public safety watchlists.

"Suspect Technologies is also working to pilot a real-time service next year by monitoring public surveillance video feeds with its facial recognition software and cross-referencing it all against a public safety watchlist, CEO Jacob Sniff says. He explained the plans but declined to identify the law enforcement client."

“We have an agency early adopter, his conception is he’s going to have 10 facial recognition cameras in town: one in the police station lobby, some at the Greyhound bus locations, city hall, even the public pool area,” Sniff says. “He’s going to be scanning people’s faces against a small public watchlist.”

Sniff claims that at least 200 hundred police departments are secretly using his software. Sniff said, "Suspect’s software is being used by a couple hundred law enforcement agencies" but declined to identify them.

A look at Suspect Technologies "solutions" section reveals that they have partnered with NVIDIA.

NVIDIA is no stranger to helping law enforcement spy on the public. Last year, I revealed that NVIDIA and COBAN Technologies (CT) have been trying to create 360 degree facial recognition police cars.

"CT's technology is designed to work with up to six cameras, so police departments could choose to turn their vehicles into 360-degree cameras, making it easier to identify faces."

How will these companies convince the public to accept public safety watchlists?

Suspect Technologies CEO Sniff hinted that corporations will use loyalty rewards to help convince the public to accept them. 

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